Having just thrashed Metz in a regular Ligue 1 fixture just four days earlier, on Tuesday AS Monaco welcomed FC Metz back to the Stade Louis II, but this time in the French Cup’s Round of 16. Monaco head coach Niko Kovac opted for a straightforward 4-4-2 formation. Meanwhile, Metz’s Frédéric Antonetti brought in a new goalie, hoping to avoid suffering a 4-0 scoreline again.
The match kicked off in the host’s favour, as Monaco’s Gelson Martin came face to face with Alexandre Oukidja in-between the Metz goalposts. However, Oukidja won the duel and so concluded the red and white’s best offensive opportunity of the first 45 minutes. Metz took their turn on goal too, but didn’t trouble Benjamin Lecomte, as the first half concluded without a change in the scoreline.
Rather uncharacteristically, Monaco were unable to get ahead of their visitors in the second half, despite the best efforts of Kevin Volland and Stevan Jovetić up front. Eventually the match drew to a close with both sides having failed to score.
This being the French Cup’s Round of 16, and therefore a knockout fixture, the match advanced to a penalty shootout. An outcome that proved to be positive for the hosts, who have been particularly dangerous from the penalty spot this season.
Team captain Wissam Ben Yedder was the first up, and the Frenchman converted with ease. Volland, Djibril Sidibé and Cesc Fabregas all followed successfully. On Metz’ fourth shot, Habib Maïga made a miss that he’ll want to forget, as Jovetic struck a solid shot in to the top of the Metz net for a perfect five out of five for the Monegasques, who ended a long match with a scoreline of 5-4 in penalties.
After a deserved victory at home, Monaco advance to the quarter-finals of the French Cup, but won’t have long to celebrate as they return to Ligue 1 action on Sunday, April 11. The red and whites will have yet another match in the Stade Louis II, but this time against Dijon.
Featured image courtesy of @AS_Monaco_EN on Twitter: Stevan Jovetic had the last word against Metz