Tchouaméni’s double propels Monaco to second place
Friday night’s final match of the Ligue 1 Uber Eats season kicked off at Stade Pierre Mauroy with LOSC hoping to finish well, despite three defeats in their last four games.
Monaco, on the other hand, were looking to extend their seven-game winning streak as they chased a place on the podium.
Sections of LOSC support had already accused their team of going on vacation but the sparse public could not complain about the candidacy of the outgoing champions in the first exchanges.
Playing like a team with a point to prove, LOSC got the better of Philippe Clément and got closer to Gabriel Gudmundsson (9′) and Timothy Weah (12′).
But despite a promising start from Jocelyn Gourvennec’s men, their recent defensive weaknesses were revealed when an unmarked header from Aurélien Tchouaméni exceeded 10 meters, winning the hosts (25th).
But you can’t hold back a good man for long and Tchouaméni punishes LOSC with a thunderous strike from the edge of the area, to fire Monaco in front (42nd).
Both teams made a cautious start to the second half with chances at a premium. Jonathan Bamba tried to break through the Monegasque defense but his attempt was blocked by Caio Henrique (51st).
Refusing to go down without a fight, Gourvennec took down the club’s top scorer, Jonathan David, and launched Angel Gomes in what proved to be an inspired change.
Barely 13 minutes after his entry, the Englishman rolled up a fabulous effort from 18 meters in front of the unfortunate Alexander Nubel to equalize (69th).
Stade Pierre Mauroy had finally found their voice, but not for long as Monaco extended their advantage six minutes later.
Tchouaméni found himself in acres of space 25 yards from goal and he hit another unstoppable effort that flew off the post, to push the visitors in front once more.
An energy-strapped LOSC were unable to find that extra gear to salvage a point in the dying moments as the Principality side saw out the game, making it eight wins in a row.
The result sees Monaco provisionally climb to second place ahead of Marseille’s trip to Lorient on Sunday, while Rennes travel to Nantes on Wednesday as the battle for the final two Champions League spots takes another exciting turn.
THE PLAYER: Aurelien Tchouameni
The 22-year-old midfielder was once again in sparkling form as Monaco secured eight rebound wins. A fabulous player of the game despite his tender years and two superb finishes to hand his team maximum points. A return to the Champions League next season could be Monaco’s best hope of keeping him next season.
THE STAT: 1
LOSC coach Jocelyn Gourvennec has won just one of his last ten games as a coach against Monaco.