For their fourth friendly fixture in the 2021 pre-season, AS Monaco faced off against German side VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday, July 24. On this occasion, Niko Kovac played a 4-2-3-1 formation featuring a potent mix of young players and experienced veterans.

Despite their best efforts, the red and whites conceded in the 39th minute of the match, as Wolfsburg’s Yannick Gerhardt found himself in a dangerous position – for Monaco. The centre forward tipped a header towards the near post, making for an impossible save for Radoslaw Majecki, Monaco’s goalie for the day.

Still standing one-nil down to Wolfsburg an hour into the match, Kovac decided to re-energise the Principality side by bringing on some star substitutions, one of which was Russian international Aleksandr Golovin.

Surprisingly, it would be Wolfsburg who would find the equaliser at the 65th minute. However, this would be against themselves, as Sebastiaan Bornauw was caught out with a powerful cross courtesy of Krepin Diatta, deflecting the ball into the back of his own net.

The Monegasques then crucially managed to maintain their attacking momentum through a second goal in just three minutes. This time it would be a red and white goal from start to finish.

Ever the star sub, Golovin volleyed a tight cross from teammate Willem Geubbels at point blank range from the opposing goalie, finding the back of the net and claiming the lead for Monaco at the 68th minute.

The visiting Monegasques held on to the lead as the match gradually drew to a close, having been relatively unbothered by their opponents in the final few minutes. At full time, the scoreline stood at 1-2 to Monaco, leaving them undefeated with three victories in four friendly fixtures so far.

The next friendly match-up for Kovac and co’ will see the boys in red and white take on Real Sociedad on Wednesday, July 28.

Featured image courtesy of @AS_Monaco on Twitter