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Match Report: Nice end Monaco’s unbeaten run in Ligue 1

Despite Monaco being favourites, two Marcin Bulka penalty saves and a late Jeremie Boga goal earn three points for Nice.

Adolf Hutter’s Monaco headed into the tie unbeaten, and top of Ligue 1. Rogues et blancs had amassed a remarkable 15 goals in five games predating the Friday nigh fixture.

Francesco Farioli’s Nice also arrived unbeated, and fresh off the back of a 3-2 away win against reigning champions, PSG. After drawing their first three games, Le Gym’s form has certainly improved.

First Half

The opening of the first half saw both teams putting feelers out for the other. It was Nice who had the first chance, however, when Morgan Sanson dispossessed Mohamed Camara in the middle. The ball was fed into Terem Moffi, who laid it off for the oncoming Sofiane Diop, but the winger’s shot was straight at Phillip Kohn.

Following this, Monaco were gifted the chance to go ahead. Caio Henrique’s ball over the top set Aleksandr Golovin away, who was adjudged to have been taken down by Jordan Lotomba after rounding Bulka. Penalty awarded.

On his first start for the club since joining from Arsenal, Folarin Balogun stepped up to take from 12 yards. The result, however, was far from what he would have dreamed of, as he saw a poorly taken penalty saved by Bulka.

Nice found themselves reinvigorated after the save, with a host of chances presenting themselves to Le Gym. Diop’s in-swinging cross to Gaetan Laborde saw the latter’s header saved comfortably by Kohn, and Diop was involved again as he was unable to head home Sanson’s ball at the back post.

Moffi was starting to find his feet in the game, with chances to run at Monaco provided by nice interchanges with Sanson and Laborde. Both chances, however, were dealt with by Denis Zakaria, recovering well and closing down shooting angles for the Nigerian forward.

Despite the quality of chances afforded to both sides, and the intensity on display, the two went into the break on level pegging.

Second Half

Neither side made any personnel changes heading into the second half. This was particularly true in more ways than one for Monaco.

Balogun once again found himself 12 yards out early in the half, after Takumi Minamino was dragged down by Sanson in the box. Much like the first, however, the American was unable to convert, with Bulka denying him for a second time. He had a chance swiftly after this, getting to the byline but was unable to find Minamino from his cross.

(Photo via Getty Images)

Nice had a great chance to respond to the pressure, as Jean-Clair Todibo was found by Laborde from a free kick. The Frenchman looked to lay his header off to Moffi, but saw the ball skew wide of the post instead.

Balogun was replaced by Wissam Ben Yedder in the 67th minute. The forward was involved not long after, as he was picked out by a Golovin cross, and his ball back across resulted in a corner.

Ben Yedder and Minamino linked up well to fashion two chances following this. A reverse ball from the former gave Minamino the chance to have a shot, which he flashed across the face of goal to be saved by Bulka. Ben Yedder then had the ball in the back of the net after being slipped in behind by the Ligue 1 POTM, but was rightly found to be offside.

In the dying stages of the game, Nice substitute Jeremie Boga produced a moment of brilliance. The Ivorian winger skipped past Singo on a mazy run, and cut inside into the box before sending Zakaria and bending his shot past Kohn. Le Gym had taken the lead with three minutes to go in added time.

(Photo via AFP Photo)

Monaco were unable to respond, and Nice claimed all three points in a 0-1 victory. Farioli’s side remain unbeaten, and now find themselves top of the league.


Monaco: Kohn; Singo; Zakaria; Magassa (Maripan 95mins); Vanderson; Camara (Matazo 81mins); Fofana; Henrique (Jakobs 82mins); Minamino (Boadu 95mins); Golovin; Balogun (Ben Yedder 67mins)

Nice: Bulka; Lotomba (Atal 92mins); Todibo; Dante; Bard; Ndayishimiye; Sanson (Rosario 64mins); Thuram; Laborde (Balde 78mins); Moffi (Guessand 78mins); Diop (Boga 64mins)

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