Philippe Clement expressed “the next four games will be like finals” as they stutter towards a European spot. Rivals Lille found themselves shuffled back into sixth courtesy of a Rennes thumping 4-0 win earlier this afternoon, but were hoping to close the gap to Les Monégasques to two points with victory.
It was a cat-and-mouse opening, before Takumi Minamino broke forward in attack for the home side. After latching onto a chipped Aleksandr Golovin through ball, Minamino finished like a man who has only notched one Ligue 1 goal, dragging his effort across goal wide of the target.
Monaco looked somewhat bereft of attacking options in the suspension of 17 goal striker Wissam Ben Yedder, highlighted before the break when Myron Boadu was played through one-on-one by Youssouf Fofana. With only the keeper to beat, Boadu saw his effort thwarted by the feet of Lucas Chevalier.
The players were perhaps reminded of what is at play here at HT, given the facile nature of the first half and the injection of pace took an age to arrive. In similar vein to the standout chance of the opening 45, this time Timothy Weah was played in by Rémy Cabella. Weah tried an instinctive finish flicking with the outside of his right foot, but not one to be outdone by Chevalier’s heroics with his feet, Alexander Nübel showed equal prowess saving well.
Minamino thought he had found the winner showing his incredible turn of pace before finishing well. Unfortunately however, he was denied a second of the campaign by the offside flag, meaning Monaco’s woeful run against the league's top five (W1,D3,L4) continues.