For their French Cup Round of 32 fixture, AS Monaco didn’t have far to travel, as the Monegasques faced OGC Nice in the Allianz Riviera stadium on Monday, March 8.
Having ended a remarkable 12 match undefeated streak on Wednesday against Strasbourg, Monaco’s head coach Niko Kovac made some adjustments to his starting line-up as he selected Krépin Diatta, Cesc Fàbregas and Stevan Jovetić to start in what would be an enjoyable match for the visitors.
The fixture kicked-off in a controlled manner, as the two Côte d’Azurian teams took the time to settle in before taking any attempts on goal. The first chance of the match fell to Jovetić at the 11th minute, and his ball was caught out by Nice’s Walter Benitez in goal. In the first half, Nice struggled to make an impact on Monaco’s sturdy defensive line.
Already proving to be a good starting choice, ‘The Maestro’ Cesc Fabregas helped his side venture deep into Niçoise territory, and then managed to find teammate Kevin Volland with a fast cut-back pass. The German powerhouse striker did what he does best as he booted an accurate shot into the bottom-left corner of Benitez’ net, making it 0-1 at the 30th minute.
Upon returning from the locker-room to kick-off the second half, the hosts appeared to be more dangerous. Setting their sights on equalising, Nice’s Alexis Claude-Maurice and Kasper Dolberg took and missed shots at the 55th and 62nd minutes respectively. Over 10 minutes later, Jovetić took a free kick just wide, leaving Nice with some hope to keep themselves in the competition.
As the final minutes quickly approached, the Monegasques pushed their neighbours hard, but Jovetić would be stopped in his tracks again. However, red and white defender Ruben Aguilar managed to recover the ball and after a short dribble, found the bottom corner of Nice’s net. This explosive effort brought Monaco up to 0-2 at the 87th minute, a scoreline which would remain unchanged until the end of the match.
After a tidy game for the victorious visitors, Monaco have won their third consecutive derby against Nice, and advance to the French Cup’s Round of 16. In the meantime, Monaco are set to host the Ligue 1’s current leaders Lille OSC on Sunday, March 14.
Featured image courtesy of AS Monaco