AS Monaco hosted and beat Montpellier in a match full of shots but only two red and white goals on a sunny afternoon at the Stade Louis II on Sunday, December 3.
Monaco midfielder Takumi Minamino continues to shine this season, having already scored and assisted in the Principality side’s loss to Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain in the previous fixture. On this occasion, Minamino capitalised on a rebounded ball in the box, striking it with force past former Monaco goalie Benjamin Lecomte to open the scoring for the hosts at only the ninth minute.
The score remained unchanged throughout the regular 90 minutes of the match, as Monaco flirted with the idea of extending their lead with a considerable number of shots, 27 to be exact, and defended their narrow lead against their determined visitors.
Montpellier defender Kiki Kouyaté was so determined that he was sent off with a red card at the 69th minute, having made a nasty challenge on Minamino, stepping on the Japanese internationals ankle in a potentially grave scenario.
Five minutes after the dodgy tackle, Wissam Ben Yedder was brought on in the place of Folarin Balogun. It took the Principality’s number 10 the rest of regular time to warm up before he got on the scoreboard with a goal of his own two minutes into injury time, having deceived Lecomte with a near-post shot to make it 2-0 to Monaco in the end.
This goal made Ben Yedder the first player to score 100 Ligue 1 goals at home in the 21st century, a remarkable milestone for one of the Rouge et Blancs highest ever goalscorers.
With this their first win in three matches, Monaco continue to occupy third place in the French championship. The next opportunity to ameliorate their situation will arrive in one week, when Monaco face mid-table team Rennes away, on Saturday, December 9.