Thanks to an attacking festival courtesy of the trio of Golovin, Embolo and Gelson Martins, the Rouge et Blanc concluded their ‘preseason’perfectly with a big win away to Leeds United (1-4).
It was a very prolific end to the ‘preseason’! After going quickly behind, the players of AS Monaco turned the tide to easily win against Leeds Wednesday evening (1-4), at the end of a match full of attacking verve. It was a great victory, which concluded a good month of training, just before the league and cups resume.
The Rouge et Blanc were playing against the “Peacocks” at Elland Road, their final friendly before resuming Ligue 1 action in Auxerre next Wednesday December 28 (5 p.m.). At the beginning of the month, Philippe Clement’s men left for a ten-day training camp in Benidorm, Spain, before playing three opponents. After two draws against Sevilla and Fiorentina by the same score (1-1), they won away to Empoli (1-0).
To start the match against the 15th-placed side in the Premier League, the Belgian manager rotated his squad slightly, reinforced by the presence of many young players from the reserves. AS Monaco started in a 4-2-3-1, with Matazo and Camara in midfield and Eliesse Ben Seghir playing as a playmaker, in support of Breel Embolo. Guillermo Maripán wore the captain’s armband.
A fast start
After an unsuccessful attempt by young Joe Gelhardt (8′), Leeds quickly opened the scoring from a corner, thanks to a headed deflection at the near post by Robin Koch (1-0, 12′). The Monegasques reacted and on their first chance, Ruben Aguilar found Aleksandr Golovin who cut the ball back perfectly for Breel Embolo who finished powerfully (1-1, 25′). Elland Road was then stunned, when Guillermo Maripán saved a shot off the line (26′).
The second half started very strongly with a second goal from Gelson Martins, on the lookout at the far post on a good cross from Ismail Jakobs (1-2, 47′). Aleksandr Golovin then took a corner with a fine curling ball (51′), and it would find Guillermo Maripán who nodded the ball to the Senegalese left back, who sent a missile under the bar (1-3, 52′). The Rouge et Blanc were not satisfied, though and the Tsar set up Gelson Martins who assisted Breel Embolo in getting a double (1-4, 55′).
The Peacocks try to react through Joe Gelhardt (58′) and then on a free kick from Brenden Aaronson which went just over the crossbar (75′). But even the rotations made by Philippe Clement did not destabilize AS Monaco. Only Wilfried Gnonto really managed to be dangerous twice (82′ and 91′), just before finally a penalty that Joe Gelhardt converted would reduce the gap (2-4, 93′).