Just three days after their Côte d’Azur derby draw against OGC Nice, AS Monaco returned to the floodlit pitch of the Stade Louis II to face off against Ligue 1 rivals AS Saint-Étienne, on the evening of Wednesday, September 22.
The match proved to be exciting right from kick-off, with Monaco’s Krépin Diatta taking the first shot off at the third minute, and Saint-Étienne returning fire just moments later.
However, it would not be until the 28th minute that the scoring would open. A rapid counter-attack brought the ball to the feet of Kevin Volland, who wasted little time in striking it past the Stéphanois goalkeeper and into the back of the visitors’ net to make it 1-0 to Monaco.
Six minutes later, the situation became worse for the visitors, after a poorly-timed tackle by Etienne Green on Myron Boadu saw the Saint-Étienne man receive a red card and leave a gaping whole in the defence at the 33rd minute.
Despite these not so minor setbacks, Saint-Étienne succeeded in scoring in the first half, as Denis Bouanga bested Alexander Nübel in between the Principality’s posts at the 41st minute.
With the scoreline standing at 1-1 at the break, the match was only becoming more exciting going into the second half, especially for supporters of the red and whites.
The Monegasques would go on to be awarded a penalty at the 60th minute, and one which team captain Wissam Ben Yedder comfortably converted, reclaiming the lead for his side.
Having regained the lead, the hosts seemed spurred on, and continued to press upfield. Eventually, the constant attacking pressure paid off for Monaco, and it would be Ben Yedder who would score again.
The French international scored his third goal in two games by placing the ball between the opposing goalie’s legs, bringing the scoreline to 3-1 at the 86th minute.
Monaco were victorious at the end of an entertaining match for the home supporters in the stands of the Stade Louis II. With a much-needed three points in the bag, Monaco ascend to 13th place in the Ligue 1 table.
This is still a far cry from Monaco’s form in the previous season, but an improvement over recent times nevertheless.
Niko Kovac and co’s next opportunity to gain some valuable points will arrive on Sunday, September 26, when Monaco will face off against Clermont Foot.
Featured image courtesy of AS Monaco on Twitter