OGC Nice – AS Monaco: Monaco edge bad-tempered derby (2-3)
Before the derby between OGC Nice and AS Monaco had even begun Paris Saint-Germain’s grip on the title grew a little tighter as they extended their lead over Nice by 11 points. It looks like a long time ago now that there were dreams of a title race involving the two Côte d'Azur high flyers, as the two clashed in a bad-tempered affair that promised to have implications in the race for the Champions League.
Tactical analysis and match report by Nick Hartland.
You can hardly blame French football fans for our excitement at the start of the season over Francesco Farioli’s OGC Nice. We are well aware of Paris Saint-Germain’s hegemony, we understand title races are rare and something to be savored, and because of that when one emerges we have to appreciate it for as long as it takes Les Parisiens to snuff it out.
Farioli was under no illusions that his side were nowhere near ready to challenge PSG at the top of the table. It was a quirk of exceptional results built on an impressive defense, and a commitment to winning by a singular goal. It felt unsustainable across a season and it has proven to be. Nice remain a brilliant side and occupied second place coming into this game week but the gap between them and Les Parisiens is already too wide to mount anything close to a title race.
There was a short time at the start of the season when AS Monaco were considered the . . .