Spring is going well for AS Monaco (ASM). Like last season, the Principality’s football team ended the season on a high note, riding a streak of eight consecutive league wins, the best current streak in the five major European leagues.
In Ligue 1, only Paris-Saint-Germain (PSG) managed such a sequence at the start of the season. A record that Monaco can cancel against Brest, Saturday 14 May (21), for 37And and penultimate day.
8 – Monaco have won their last 8 matches of Ligue 1, the best running series in the 5 major European leagues … https://t.co/MrFTn51Xy1
Thanks to this series of victories, the Monegasques have reached the podium, for the first time this season, after the victory in Lille (2-1), on 6 May, just three points behind Olympique de Marseille (OM). according to. To the point of being able to openly dream of the Champions League for next season.
“It has become very difficult to hope for a place in the Champions League, we don’t have to hide our faces”Monegasque central defender Benoît Badiashile (21) said after 28And day, in March, when his team (8And) was nine points behind third place. “I never said that the podium was not possible”notes for its part, for The world, Belgian coach Philippe Clement (48), who arrived in January to replace Croatian Niko Kovac.
Failure in the Europa League, “bad for good”
Before early spring, however, the ASM situation was not glorious. Eliminated in the semifinals of Coupe de France by the eventual winner, Nantes, and in the round of 16 of the Europa League by the Portuguese of Braga, Monaco went into crisis.
According to information from The groupthe club’s Russian owner and president, Dmitri Rybolovlev, wanted to part ways with his vice president, Oleg Petrov, the sporting director, Paul Mitchell, but also his coach, Philippe Clement.
“We heard about this newspaper on the morning of the match against PSG”on March 20, he tells al World the vice-captain Axel Disasi (24 years old). “The team’s reaction has been very good. “ ASM had beaten PSG (3-0), launching their streak. “I don’t know if we can take this match as a trigger, but we have shown that even in a bad period this team had many qualities.”continues the player.
Paradoxically, the failure in the Europa League “It was a blessing in disguise, even though we had the ambition to do better”admits the vice-captain. We had more time to prepare for the games, to rest, to fix things. “
Philippe Clement was finally able to impose his mark in the game and in the life of the group. Very quickly, he devoted himself to strengthening cohesion. “I saw, at one point, that they were a bit distant, there was no connection between the different groups in the changing rooms”, slips. The Belgian coach organizes a paintball, a barbecue and installs a basketball hoop, table football and ping-pong tables at the Turbie training center. “Thanks to these activities we create certain connections, we get to know the person in front of us a little better”confirms Axel Disasi.
In the field, “The coach brings a lot of calm and patience”Midfielder Youssouf Fofana explained on the RMC Sport website in mid-April. “I saw that peace of mind was lacking when circumstances were not favorableanalyzes Philippe Clement. The players were getting nervous, frustrated and wanted to force things. “
The coach, three-time champion of Belgium with Genk (2019) and then with FC Bruges (2020 and 2021), relies on a stable starting lineup, unlike the permanent rotations of his predecessor. His starting team is largely that of last season.
Monaco also benefited from the return of Aleksandr Golovin (25), Youssouf Fofana (23), who found his level together with his accomplice in midfield, Aurélien Tchouaméni (22). Wissam Ben Yedder continues to panic on the counterattack (21 goals, second top scorer in Ligue 1 behind Kylian Mbappé).
The best defense of the season
On defense, the ASM turned a corner. With thirteen goals conceded in their last seventeen matches, the principality’s club is the best defense of 2022. Consequence of a system change and a reformed duo between Benoît Badiashile and Axel Disasi. “It is very important to have a team that defends well, savor Philippe Clement. I want an offensive game and we do it, but the defensive organization must remain. “
Above all, from this winter, the rock club can count on the Brazilian Vanderson (20 years old). The right midfielder, who arrived in January from Grêmio Porto Alegre (Brazil) for around 11 million euros, immediately made himself indispensable by scoring his first goal after just three games with his new colors.
“He’s a real revelation, he acclimatized pretty quickly. Energize the right side “analyzed this week, on RMC, Jérôme Rothen, former player of the club between 2002 and 2004. “He brought us a lot of fresh blood, creativity, racing”confirms Axel Disasi.
The Monk also exudes physical strength. “Physically we feel superior to others”Aurélien Tchouaméni said, before moving to Lille. “It gives you confidence, when you know that you still have this energy at the end of the game”, insists Philippe Clement. One of the many explanations for the dynamics of the ASM, which wants to succeed in overtaking by ten against Brest and then Lens (Saturday 21 May, 9 pm). The club would thus have secured, at least, third place, synonymous with Europe.
Ligue 1: the challenges of the 37th day
The 37And and the penultimate day of Ligue 1, Saturday 14 May, promises to be crucial, indeed decisive, in several respects.
The battle for the Champions League. After the defeat of Rennes in Nantes on Wednesday 11 May, the battle for 2And place, direct qualification for the group stage of the Champions League, and for 3And the place, qualifying for the third qualifying round of the same competition, mainly concerns Marseille (2And68 points) and Monaco (3And, 65 points). The Marseillais, who will go to Rennes on Saturday before receiving Strasbourg, have a more difficult program than that of the Monegasques (Brest then Lens).
Tickets for the Europa League and the Europa League Conference. Winners of the Coupe de France, Nantes have already qualified for the Europa League. There is therefore one ticket left for this competition which will go to the club that will finish in 4thAnd place in the league. The 5And place, will qualify for the play-offs for access to the group stage of the Europa League Conference.
Beautiful (4And63 points) starts with a slight advantage over Rennes (5And62 points), Strasbourg (6And60 points) and Lens (7And, 58 points). Rennes welcome Marseille, with the possibility of eliminating, if successful, the Lensois from the race for Europe, regardless of the result obtained in Troyes. By beating Clermont, Strasbourg would retain their chance to qualify on the final matchday.
Who will join Ligue 2? The 18thAnd place will lead to home and away games against a Ligue 2 club, while 19And and 20And seats will be synonymous with direct relegation in Ligue 2.
Troyes (15And37 points) is mathematically unsure of its maintenance, but only an unlikely scenario would leave the club at 6pmAnd square. Clermont (16And36 points) should also play in Ligue 1 next season, unless Lorient recovers (17And34 points) and Saint-Etienne (18And31 points).
The Bretons compete for a “final” for the maintenance of the red lantern, Bordeaux (20And, 27 points), sentenced in Ligue 2 in case of defeat. Even victorious, the Bordeaux people can go down, if the Greens win against Reims. A success for the Stéphanois could also be fatal for the relegated Metz (19And28 points) if the Messins do not beat Angers.