Leonardo Jardim opted for his usual starting eleven at LOSC, and his team duly repaid the coach’s faith. After a cagey opening fifteen minutes in which the sides felt each other out, the Monegasques stepped up a gear and went ahead with their first clear chance of the evening. Jovetic seized on a misjudged pass by El Ghazi before bending a fine curling effort past Maignan from the edge of the box (24’) to net his first goal for his new club.
It was a night of firsts, and barely five minutes later it was the turn of Rachid Ghezzal to open his account, the Algerian midfielder meeting Almamy Touré’s cross to beat the Lille ‘keeper from close range. A display of poise and experience saw AS Monaco go in at half-time with a 2-0 lead at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy.
The second half was moments old when Radamel Falcao turned the screw. Bissouma’s slip down the left was pounced on by Lopes, who drove into the penalty area and unleashed a shot that was turned away by Maignan. El Tigre showed his poacher’s instinct to head the rebound into the empty net and make it 3-0.
Despite the goal, Radamel Falcao was hungry for more. In the 72nd minute, Jorge darted into the Lille box and was tripped by Amadou. El Tigre picked up the ball and sent Maignan the wrong way from the penalty spot. The final score was 4-0, another convincing win for Leonardo Jardim’s men, and the ideal preparation for Tuesday’s visit of FC Porto (20.45) on matchday 2 of the Champions League group stage. Daghe Munegu!