It is no easy time to be a supporter of AS Monaco, as the club continues to struggle to stay at the top of the Ligue 1 table with time fast running out in the 2022/23 season. However, this loss will sting harder than that of the previous week, which saw Monaco lose 3-0 to third place Lens away.
This time Monaco supporters did not have to travel across France to watch their team be dismantled, as 12th place Montpellier beat the Principality side 0-4 in Stade Louis II on Sunday, April 30.
What should have been an easy home game for the Monegasques turned into a disaster class. However, this was not always the case. In fact, Monaco appeared to be the more dominant side at the beginning of the match, with Wissam Ben Yedder coming very close to scoring a free kick at the 22nd minute.
It was then Montpellier winger Arnaud Nordin who drew first blood on a solitary foray all the way up to Alexander Nübel in goal and past him to score the visitors’ first goal at the 28th minute. Fortunately, the German goalkeeper was able to stop some more shots before the half-time whistle blew.
Upon returning from the locker room, the hosts came close to equalising thanks to the efforts of Eliesse Ben Seghir, but former Monaco goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte stopped the youngster’s shot. The situation rapidly deteriorated from then on out.
Montpellier’s Elye Wahi led a counter-attack and found teammate Faitout Maouassa who did not waste time in finding the back of the net to make it 0-2 at the 65th minute.
Author of the first goal, Nordin scored again at the 72nd minute, having been found by Stephy Mavididi. Nordin then returned the favour with an assist of his own for Mavididi, who scored Montpellier’s fourth and final goal from close range at the 79th minute.
The final whistle blew, marking a 0-4 loss while saving a sorry Principality side from further beating. With this loss, Monaco miss out on another three points, and begin to fall out of reach of the top three places. Meanwhile, Lille are fast approaching, and threaten to overtake Monaco for the fourth place spot that the Monegasques have become so comfortable in.
Monaco has not lost by a deficit of four goals in Ligue 1 since January, 2019, in a 1-5 loss to Strasbourg, which became Thierry Henry’s last Ligue 1 match as the Monaco manager. Now, supporters of the club are gathering en masse to call for the dismissal of Philippe Clement. However, the problem is much greater than just the manager.
Monaco Sporting Director Paul Mitchell himself said in an interview with Nice Matin that the club’s “strategy implies that our (Monaco) players will at some point be courted by big clubs.” Indeed, Monaco does have a rich history of selling talent to “big” clubs, but nowhere near does the club possess such a rich history of winning competitions on any level. Players come to Monaco to bolster their market value before going on to a club with a higher wage and chance of success, so many supporters are asking how they can expect a wholesome team performance when players seek to impress on a personal level as the end of the season and the transfer window draws near?
A world class academy and youth system is not enough to qualify for European football next year, but it does help business. A self-proclaimed smaller selling club cannot expect success in any other way except monetary, and its supporters are growing tired.
Monaco will face Angers away on Sunday, May 7.