For their second friendly fixture of the preseason, AS Monaco hosted Belgian side Cercle Bruges at their training facility in La Turbie.
On this occasion, head coach Niko Kovac selected some new faces as part of his 4-2-3-1 formation, and perhaps most notably Monaco’s new goalkeeper Alexander Nübel.
As was the case in the previous friendly against RB Salzburg, the boys in red and white conceded within minutes of kick-off, as Bruge’s Dimitar Veltovski launched a powerful strike into Monaco’s net, making it 0-1 at just the fourth minute.
Not letting this early concession get them down, the boys in red and white returned the favour at the 16th minute through Sofiane Diop. The Monaco midfielder took his chances and was rewarded with a clean goal to equalise the match early on.
With the scoreline level, both teams took a step back to pass the ball around in the hope of creating some clear chances. At the 42nd minute, the Monegasques were awarded a corner kick, which Cesc Fàbregas duly took.
The Spanish veteran was able to find Chrislain Matsima in the crowd, who then used his head to gain the lead before the first half could conclude, bringing the score to 2-1 before the break.
As the second half got underway, Kovac made some tactical substitutions, bringing on Krépin Diatta, who made himself useful by obtaining a penalty. However, William Guebbels saw his effort from 12 yards out get rejected by the Bruges goalkeeper.
After a necessary cooling break in the Mediterranean sun, Pietro Pellegri was substituted into play, and wasted little time before making his own contribution to the scoreline. On one of his first touches of the ball, the Italian tapped in a near cross at speed, bringing the Principality side up to 3-1 at the 70th minute.
Thereafter, Bruges attempted to redeem themselves with a few shots of their own, but these were all dealt with cleanly by substitute goalie Vito Mannone until the end of the match. After a strong performance from the entire team, Monaco won their second friendly fixture on the trot, and with the same 3-1 scoreline as well.
Monaco’s next friendly fixture will be against Belgian side Royal Antwerp on Saturday, July 17.
Featured image courtesy of asmonaco.com