As the end of another season draws nearer, AS Monaco faced off against visiting side RC Strasbourg, and most importantly won after a tense goal-filled fixture at the Stade Louis II on Sunday, April 2.
After a controlled start to the match, the Monegasques found some momentum and moved the ball up the pitch with a series of quick Tika Taka passes, and onto Vanderson who scored with a ‘Thierry Henryesque’ finish into the bottom corner of the Net. With this lightning quick goal, Monaco took the lead at the 19th minute.
The hosts kept the pressure up in search of another goal but Strasbourg now stood more attentively in defense. The visitors then stunned Monaco as a curled effort into the box found Mothiba, who scored with his head from point blank range to equalise at the 32nd minute.
The situation further deteriorated when Monaco centre-back Guillermo Maripan mistakingly headed the ball into the back of his own net to make it 1-2 to Strasbourg at the 42nd minute. The goal would have been quite attractive, had it not been an own goal.
Down but not out by half-time, Philippe Clement and co’ returned from the locker room with renewed energy to bring the match back under control. It was Eliesse Ben Seghir who would launch the comeback with a long range strike of his own to level the score once more at the 54th minute.
The youngster then came off in place of Kevin Volland, returning from a long-standing injury. Nevertheless, it was another academy player who would now regain the lead for Monaco. A determined Aleksandr Golovin retrieved the ball in the Principality side’s half before running most of the pitch and serving a delightful through ball to Edan Diop, who did not hesitate in scoring his first professional goal in red and white, and only in his third Ligue 1 match. Now 3-2 up at the 58th minute, the hosts began to look more comfortable again, but crucially did not get complacent.
Only eight minutes later, Youssouf Fofana scored the fourth and final Monaco goal, leaving Strasbourg stunned and two goals behind. However, the midfielder picked up a second yellow tackle for a clumsy challenge minutes later, and was subsequently sent off seeing red, leaving Monaco one man down and clamped together in defence.
A last minute close range goal from Habib Diallo saw the visitors get closer to Monaco, but far too late to make a difference to the end result, as the final whistle marked a 4-3 win for the hosts.
Three important points in the race for the podium, as Monaco provisionally occupy fourth place, just three points behind Lens and Marseille in second and third place respectively. The next opportunity to climb the table will be against Nantes, away on Sunday, April 9.
Featured image courtesy of AS Monaco: Edan Diop, goalscorer on the day