Since April, the Principality’s club has been ending its season as a cannonball. If the last day of Ligue 1 will be decisive for second place in the championship, ASM has already succeeded in its 2021/2022 financial year, thanks to a good series of victories. A “climb” in the standings in which the President of the club, Dmitri Rybolovlev, was decisive after a serious blow of pressure on his staff in March.
A final thrill, a final suspense: next Saturday, lovers of Ligue 1 will carefully follow the course of the evening to find out who, from Olympique de Marseille or AS Monaco, will ultimately be second in the championship and as such , directly qualified for the Champions League with PSG. Marseille – Strasbourg, Lens – Monaco: Two matches, two contenders, but only one second place. Because still comfortably installed in its role as runner-up in the championship a few weeks ago, Olympique de Marseille finally cracked in the last days of Ligue 1 by winning and slipping second place into the hands of Monegasques who have had a string of successes.
Saturday evening therefore, Marseille will receive Strasbourg at the Vélodrome and will try to win to hope to regain the precious second place, on the condition that its Monegasque competitor, for its part, failed in Lens. Maximum suspension. The ASM players will be keen to keep their precious second place by succeeding in their perilous trip to the north. A high-stakes match against a formidable Lensoise team that has been attractive since the start of the season. The evening promises to be lively until the end of regulation time, and for football fans, it’s a last round of football before a summer cure of several weeks.
The winning management à la Rybolovlev
After all, fighting on the podium after such a complicated season for months is a very good surprise and a feat.
Because this year 2021/2022 for AS Monaco, it was to tackle a failed start to the season because of the complicated play-offs in the Champions League, then a change of coach in the middle of winter and overall, a lot of results disappointing!
In mid-March, the club was in eighth place in the league after a 1-0 defeat at Strasbourg. And three days later, on March 16, Philippe Clément’s men were eliminated in the knockout stages of the Europa League by the small Portuguese club Braga. And this was in addition to the elimination of AS Monaco in the semi-finals of the Coupe de France, in Nantes, on March 2. Boredom was followed by disappointment and the shadow of crisis threatened the princely club.
The warning shot from club President Dmitri Rybolovlev was not long in coming: shortly after the elimination from the Europa League, we learned in the columns of the Team that the club President was planning to sack Oleg Petrov, the vice- club president, Paul Mitchell, the sporting director, as well as Philippe Clément, the coach. A visibly effective strategic choice since from then on, AS Monaco chained victory after victory, going from the soft underbelly of the classification to second place in the championship. Winning management for the Russian billionaire, jointly attached to the Rock.
During the last match at the Stade Louis-II, @AS_Monaco invited a representative of the club’s eighteen fan branches. A tradition at the end of each season. President Dmitry Rybolovlev presented them with the new 2022/23 jersey. #FanExperience #FanEngagement pic.twitter.com/nMXRYU2m0I
— Fanstriker.com (@fanstriker) May 17, 2022
The unstoppable “rise”
Easter period in March, the Monegasques are indeed unstoppable, with nine victories in a row, the best series of victories of the 5 European championships and the best series of victories since the title season in 2017. A success that the club also owes to its exceptional offensive armada, like Ben Yedder who will finish the season with more than 20 goals in Ligue 1, making him the second top scorer in the championship. The French striker has been decisive on several occasions, such as against Brest last weekend where his hat-trick allowed ASM to win after being led two goals to nil by the Bretons. A symptomatic match of the club’s season, full of twists and determination, which showed a solid and united Monegasque team, which finally won four to two after several missed opportunities.
Ben Yedder and his hat-trick against Brest, Tchouameni and his double against Lille, but also Vanderson, Golovin, Volland… Philippe Clément knew how to breathe an attacking game into his team thanks to young starters who know each other well: the workforce of the ‘Last year has been kept for the most part and the automatisms kept have been seen in this last part of the season as a cannonball.
A balance that may be upset next season: with the assurance of playing for Europe and some of the most efficient recruitment cells on the continent, the Monegasque transfer window could well be moved to La Turbie in the coming months. But for the moment, it is the trip to Lens that is on everyone’s mind on the Monaco side. As a reminder, last year, the last Monegasque match also took place against Lens and ended in a draw.