Monaco below expectations on season’s opening match
Sunday evening there was a full moon and the Principality’s football stadium was buzzing with the 13,960 fans basking in the party atmosphere for the opening League 1 game of the season. The Luc Ramirez Quartet welcomed everybody with their Mexijazz tunes, and even Circus artists were clowning around, plus freestyle footballer Iya Traore (28) originally from Guinea put a show outdoors and on the soccer field. The teams entered to the loud cheers and chantings of the fans who were hoping to see their team win.
But just after 9 minutes of play the celebrations turned sour when Vincent Aboubakar of Lorient converted a penalty opening the score for the visitors. Luckily The Tigre (Falcao No. 9) was back in top form and joined his team replacing Argentine Lucas Ocampos on the second period, leveling the field at 77 minutes over a penalty on Dimitar Berbatov (No.10). The fans exploded in the tribunes and the ambiance was electrifying!
But the celebration did not last long for the fans and Prince Albert who was in the royal loge, as Valentin Lavigne scored for Les Merlus just 3 minutes before the end of the official time to return to Brittany with a 2-1 victory.
It was a really disappointed first match for the new Portuguese coach Leonardo Jardim, when so much was expected of him and his team after their victory over Arsenal in the Emirates Cup. Let’s face it, it is not worth dwelling over the sale of Colombian striker James Rodriguez, whose transfer clearly increased the financial active of the club, but maybe with him onboard the result could have been very different.
Vadim Vasilyev the ASM Monaco Vice-President confirmed on several interviews that Falcao will remain in the club for the rest of the season, but it must be unsettling when El Tigre is persistently linked to an imminent relocation. It is true that Monaco had several occasions to score but the visitors’ goalkeeper Lecomte was superb at stopping any attempts. The season just started so let’s remain positive for the future.
The next match away will be on Sunday, August 17 against Bordeaux followed by another away against Nantes scheduled for Sunday, August 24 (tbc), with the next home game Monaco receiving Lille on Saturday, August 30 (tbc).