On the afternoon of Sunday, March 14, AS Monaco welcomed Ligue 1 pace-setters Lille OSC to the Stade Louis II for a regular French league fixture. For this occasion, ASM Head Coach Niko Kovac opted to play in a 3-4-3 formation, with Aleksandr Golovin featuring in the starting line-up.
As the first half kicked-off, Monaco seemed comfortable on their home pitch. The visitors’ first chance arrived at the 12th minute, and was calmly dealt with by Benjamin Lecomte.
At the 21st minute, Monaco’s team captain Wissam Ben Yedder thought that he had scored, but an attentive assistant referee raised their flag, and ruled out the Frenchman’s goal. After the first 45 minutes, the scoreline remained empty.
Despite their statistical superiority, the Monegasques were not able to find the back of Mike Maignan’s net, as Ligue 1’s strongest defensive force guarded their goal well. With just 20 minutes to go until the final whistle and no goals scored on either side of the pitch, Kovac decided to breath new life into the game, as he substituted in Djibril Sidibé, Cesc Fàbregas and Stevan Jovetić.
The last proper red and white chance fell to Jovetić at the 90th minute, but the Montenegrin striker’s shot was denied by an outstretched Maignan. The match eventually concluded in a draw between the two top flight teams, as they had prevented each other from scoring any goals at all.
Followers of French football will recognise that a draw against Lille in their current form is a respectable result, as the Monegasques ended their visitors’ seven straight win streak.
For their last match before the international break, Monaco will travel to the Stade Geoffroy Guichard to face off against Saint Etienne on Friday, March 19.
Featured image courtesy of @AS_Monaco_EN on Twitter