Kovac recovered well, the Austrian bloc failed

A coach who rectified the situation, Krépin Diatta rewarded, but also the Austrian weakness: find our Tops and Flops of Monaco-Sturm Graz


Kovac’s changes

The questioning is not within the reach of all. Knowing how to recognize mistakes is one of the virtues specific to great technicians. Niko Kovac experienced it this Thursday evening. While his experimental team did not work, the coach of AS Monaco was able to rectify the situation, and he wasted no time in doing so. From the start of the second period, the Croatian took out of his hat a triple change which will have been saving. With the entries of Cesc Fabregas, Caio Henrique and Alksandr Golovin, the very pale Monegasque team has recovered. The Russian, moreover, will have helped to unblock the situation since it was he who sent a delicious assist to Krépin Diatta for the only goal of the match (66th). The quick start of Wissam Ben Yedder and Youssouf Fofana will have brought more control and put an end to all suspense.

Diatta, of a short head

While the Monegasque team was struggling to get around the Austrian bloc, a man came to rekindle the flame that seemed to have been extinguished for a long time: Krépin Diatta. And yet, it had not started very well for the former player of Club Brugge. Like his attacking partners, the Ghanaian was not stingy with efforts, but often fished for the finish. He stumbled many times on the defense of Sturm Graz, very well organized, and sometimes made some bad choices. But what activity! The spinning Monegasque winger was very active and the danger often came on his side. Unhappy for a long time, he was finally rewarded for his full match by scoring the saving goal (66th), which allowed his partners to get out of a bad situation. On a decisive cross from Golovin, Diatta placed an angry head toe, offering the victory to his team.


Harmless Sturm Graz

If the show was clearly not on Thursday evening, it is largely due to the modest team of Sturm Graz. Chritian Ilzer’s very defensive tactics perfectly upset AS Monaco players in the first half, of course, but it was much more complicated in the second. The beautiful defensive organization is not everything. Positioned very, too, low on the ground, the Austrians only obtained rare opportunities. Ilzer’s men hardly existed in the second half of the game. The Monegasque team, greatly strengthened by the changes made by Kovac, completely annihilated very weak Austrians. When we are content to just defend and concede a goal, there is nothing left to save. Once the opening of the Monegasque score conceded, the players of Sturm Graz died out. But did they have the means to do better? Nothing is less sure.

At the end of boredom

The return of the European Cups was expected as the messiah by football fans. And if this European week has been prolific, this match between AS Monaco and Sturm Graz clearly serves as an ugly duckling. It’s very simple, in the first half, hardly anything happened. Niko Kovac had decided to turn his team in the face of too weak an opposition that only defended, defend and still defend. The offensive ineffectiveness of the Monegasque players will not have been foreign to this “spectacle” either. Like Kevin Volland, once again disappointing, the ASM players struggled to adjust the sights. At the end of the boredom, as we were heading straight for a sad draw, the Monegasques finally won on one of the rare collective actions of the match. Everything will not have to be thrown away in the end.


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