The French Ligue 1 season opened today with the league’s defending champion, AS Monaco, defeating Toulouse by three-goals-to-two inside the Stade Louis II ground. The team from the Principality had to come back twice in the match to equalize the score before scoring their third goal that ultimately won the match for them.
The match began with the visiting team making early forays into Monaco’s half of the pitch.
Kylian Mbappe had the first clear chance of scoring in the match when his shot inside the opponent’s penalty box was defected out of play by a Toulouse’s player.
Zinedine Machach scored the first goal of the match six minutes after the commencement of the game. A Toulouse’s corner kick was directed to Andy Delort who passed the ball with his chest to Machach inside Monaco’s penalty box, the attacking mid-fielder volleyed the ball into the net to put Toulouse ahead.
Radamel Falcao would have equalized in the tenth minute of the game with his header that flew over the bar had a Toulouse’s defender not pulled his jersey to upset his balance before he headed the ball.
Toulouse’s goalkeeper, Alban Lafont, made a brilliant save with his out-stretched feet which deflected a Kylian Mbappe’s shot from the penalty box out of the pitch.
Monaco equalized in the twenty sixth minute of the match when a Joao Moutinho’s corner kick was headed into the net by central half, Jemerson Nascimento.
It took the remarkable goalkeeping technique of Monaco’s goalkeeper Danijel Subasic to successfully punch out Corentin Jean’s curling shot from entering the net in the dying seconds of first half.
Toulouse, on resumption of the second half, elected to sit back in their own half and defend : this gave Monaco the opportunity to mount a sustained pressure on their opponent ; and Kylian Mbappe, who had shifted to the left flank, became a continuous source of attacking outlet into the opponent’s final third.
A Toulouse’s counter-attack resulted in Andy Delort scoring their second goal of the match. Dumaz intercepted a ball Djibril Sidibe had attempted to dink of his head, he then raced with the ball down the left flank and sent a pass to unmarked Delort who beat goalkeeper Subaric with a low shot taken a few yards away from the eighteen yard box.
Mbappe was on hand again to play a vital role in Monaco’s equalizer. His weighted pass to Jorge Moraes allowed the Brazilian mid-fielder to run with the ball into the eighteen yard box, from where he crossed the ball into the penalty box which Radamel Falcao headed into the net to tie the score at two-two.
After their second equalizer, Monaco took complete control of the match; Mbappe gave torrid time to Toulouse’s defensive duo of Kelvin Adou and Steeve Yago. Mbappe scintillating performance from the left flank showed why he is one of the most sought-after youngsters in European football.
Kamil Glik scored Monaco’s winning goal when his hair brushed into the net a Joao Mountinho’s free kick from outside the eighteen yard box.
Monaco’s second half substitute, Allan Saint-Maximin, was a sheer delight to behold as he tore through Toulouse’s defensive line with his lightning pace and well-executed crosses from the right flank.
Monaco were able to hold on to their one-goal lead till the end of the match. It is worth mentioning that though some key members of Monaco’s title winning team of last season have moved to other clubs, the team showed no signs that those departures have affected their game negatively.Obtaining the maximum points on the opening day of the season was a good way for the club from the Principality to begin their title defense.