On the evening of February 3, AS Monaco welcomed OGC Nice to Stade Louis II for the 100th Côte d’Azur Derby. For this special occasion, head coach Niko Kovac opted to play the same 11 players that started in the match against Nantes, which led to Monaco’s fifth consecutive victory.
As the match kicked-off, so did the action. The visitors pressed early and hard, but Monaco responded confidently and earned themselves the first chance of the match, which team captain Wissam Ben Yedder narrowly missed. Before long, Ben Yedder found himself in front of the opposing goal again.
A foul on Monaco’s Ciao Henrique resulted in an indisputable penalty, and who better to step up to the mark than the penalty specialist himself, Ben Yedder. The Frenchman calmly converted the penalty, to give his side the lead in the 10th minute. Now playing with a slight advantage, Monaco prioritised possession, and completed the first half with a 1-0 score.
The beginning of the second half saw players of either side playing more passionately, and within minutes Nice’s Pierre Lees-Melou managed to fire one in past Benjamin Lecomte, to equalise at the 48th minute. However, the visitors’ celebrations would be short lived, although this would be self-inflicted.
Perhaps playing too passionately, Nice’s Jordan Lotomba fouled a counterattacking Sofiane Diop, resulting in a red and white free kick from 25 meters out. Ben Yedder stepped up to the mark again, and fired off a projectile missile of a ball, which curled on its way into the top corner. See it for yourself below:
With that sublime strike, Ben Yedder scored his second goal of the match and his 11th goal this season, bringing the scoreline to 2-1 at the 51st minute. As many minutes remained, the match was not won yet, and both coaches deployed substitutes to keep their sides energised. However, Monaco boast a standout lineup on their bench.
Nice played purposefully until the very end, but ultimately could not out-manoeuvre their hosts, as the match extended into seven minutes of overtime. In truth, Nice did well to walk away with just a one goal loss, as the Monegasques were the deserved victors of the 100th Côte d’Azur Derby. This significant victory is made all the more special as it is the sixth in a row for a magic Monaco side, which currently occupy fourth place in the Ligue 1 table, just three below Paris and eight above the next best.
Monaco will be looking to extend their winning streak, as they travel to face off against 20th place Nîmes at the Stade des Costières on Sunday, January 7.
Featured image courtesy of AS Monaco