The match: 1-3
We will wait before writing that the Monegasques are cured. But failing to convince in the game, they chained new good results. After the draw on the lawn of their neighbor from Nice (2-2) last weekend and the victory against Saint-Étienne (3-1) on Wednesday, they showed a cold realism to extricate themselves from the trap set by the promoted Clermont on Sunday: six shots, three on target, and three goals, signed Ben Yedder (25th, 1-1), Volland (48th, 2-1) and Diop (90th + 1, 3-1).
However, we would not have risked betting on such a question at half-time. Overwhelmed by the waves in Clermont, Niko Kovac’s men, furious on his bench, learned a lesson in intensity, simplicity and play in the first half hour. Quickly led to the score on a cross from Nsimba cut by Bayo (7th), they escaped a penalty in the 14th minute, for a disputed intervention by Sidibé on Berthomier, and they were able to consider themselves happy to return to the locker room at 1 – 1 in view of the two golden opportunities wasted by Bayo before half-time (17th, 44th).
Clermont was undefeated on his lawn since October 24, 2020, 18 matches (including 3 in Ligue 1).
Clermont had visibly digested his gift in Rennes (0-6) and battered his European opponent from start to finish, notably in the wake of a twirling Dossou in the second half (53rd, 67th). But unlike ASM, much more attractive after the entry of Diop (46th, see elsewhere), he lacked the promoted efficiency (12 shots, 4 on target). For a long time on a wire, the ASM took the lead upon returning from the locker room thanks to Volland, well placed at the reception of a center of Caio Henrique (48th, 2-1), but she had to wait for additional time to take shelter, after a counter concluded by a heel by Diop.
Too fragile defensively (14 goals conceded in 4 matches), the CF63 continued to fall in the standings (15th), while Monaco gained five places and found the first half of the table (8th).
The player: Diop changed everything
Frustrated by the attitude of his team, Kovac did not hesitate to make strong choices at the Gabriel-Montpied stadium. After leaving Fofana in the 36th minute, probably for not respecting his instructions, the Croatian ASM coach sent a Golovin back to the bench next to his pumps at half-time. The Russian gave way to Diop, and the young French international Espoirs (21 years old, 2 caps) transformed his team.
If his but owes as much to his skill as to Desmas’ hand fault, Diop is also at the origin of Volland’s, since it is he who shifts Caio Henrique (the decisive passer) on the left wing. “The coach called on me at the start of the second and I gave my all to help the team, he soberly answered the microphone of Canal + at the end of the match. At half-time, we said to ourselves that we shouldn’t show that face. We came back with better intentions. The coach knew how to get us back on the right track. “
The fact: a forgotten sentence for Clermont?
We were playing in the 14th minute when Berthomier collapsed in contact with Sidibé at the entrance to the box. Presumably the victim of a hook-foot, the Clermont playmaker immediately asked for a penalty, but the match referee did not flinch, and his video assistants did not alert him to a potential manifest error. Unless he hadn’t heard them?
On an image captured by Canal + in the wake, the referee seemed to explain to the two coaches that his headset was not working. The encrypted channel then specified that he could hear his assistants but that he could not communicate with them. So, pain or not? “I would like to see the images again, said Berthomier at half-time. There is contact, that’s for sure. (Sidibé) tells me that he takes the ball before. I cannot certify that there is a penalty, but in any case there is contact. “