A solid AS Monaco dominate Rennes to move back on to the podium!

First more effective in the first half to make the difference thanks to Maghnes Akliouche, the Rouge et Blanc then managed to finally win against Stade Rennais (1-0) and at the same time get back on to the podium.

This result does us (a lot) of good! Under pressure after wins by Lille and Brest, the AS Monaco players responded against Rennes, to obtain their first victory at the Stade Louis-II since December 3 (1-0). These three points allow us to believe a little more in a return to the Champions League next season.

The context

Already ten points ahead of the Bretons in the table, the Rouge et Blanc had the opportunity to all but eliminiate out a direct competitor for the European places. The objective is also to return to winning ways at home, after six unsuccessful matches in Fontvieille. This is a good omen, because SRFC has only won one of its last 13 trips to the Principality.

The eleven

In an attempt to glean three crucial points in the race for the Champions League, Adi Hütter decided to rely on the same 4-2-3-1 he deployed in Metz (in a 2-5 win). There was once exception with the return from suspension of Denis Zakaria, who reunited with Youssouf Fofana in midfield. For the rest, there were no major changes.

The scenario

The match started slowly, until a perfect pass by Takumi Minamino on the cutback for the French international, but he unfortunately did not get his effort on target (4′). It was a first (very) big chance, to which Adrien Truffert responded from range, without creating any real sense of danger (5′). The Rouge et Blanc managed to hold the ball, and Aleksandr Golovin tried his luck with a powerful shot from the left (11′). Before immediately finding Thilo Kehrer, whose header is was cleared off the line by Steve Mandanda (12′).

Majecki on fire, Akliouche with the finish!

The match then really got lively, and Radeck Majecki even had to make in impressive save to deny Amine Gouiri (15′), and then kept out a volley from Martin Terrier which he deflected with a magnificent tip onto the bar (18′). The Pole pulled out all the stops and even made a magnificent double save to stop first Gouiri and then Bourigeaud (21′). What a display! These were decisive interventions, since shortly thereafter, Ismail Jakobs got forward on the left to find Maghnes Akliouche who finished from close range (1-0, 25′)!

Balanced play and expected goals

The attacking midfielder formed at the Academy, MVP in Metz, scored his 7th goal of the season in Ligue 1, and the 27th for AS Monaco in the first half. A second was even close on a cross to the far post from Vanderson for Ben Yedder (33′), even if Rennes proved dangerous twice around it (31′ and 39′). Half-time finally came after a final run from Amine Gouiri into the Monegasque area (44′) and a final chance for Akliouche (45 + 2′).

A story of red cards

The match took a new turn upon returning from the locker room, when Martin Terrier was sent off by Ms. Frappart (46′). Logically, Adi Hütter’s men took control, and Golo’ was close to succeeding with his special, the a curling shot from the right, and would have without a monumental save from Mandanda (61′)! Unfortunately the numerical superiority will not last, since Thilo Kehrer received a second (rather harsh) yellow card (64′).

Victory and an option on the Champions League!

The two coaches took the opportunity to make a few changes, and Ludovic Blas immediately served notice with a sudden strike, which Radeck repelled with a diving effort (75′). The atmosphere continued to mount in tension as the minutes passed, and eight additional minutes were even announced. But the Monegasques held on, and finally won at the end of a match filled with suspense… and plenty of character (1-0)!

This win and three points has allowed AS Monaco to climb back on to the podium and to believe a little more in qualification for the next Champions League. DAGHE MUNEGU!

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