Saint-Étienne – AS Monaco: Jardim’s formation switch against Saint-Etienne unable to halt Monaco’s winless run (2-0)
Saint-Étienne looked comfortable against Monaco for the most part, especially in the first half. Nevertheless, Monaco had the better chances and were unlucky to leave with zero points. Two well-taken goals from Wahbi Khazri made the difference.
Monaco went to Saint-Étienne looking to put a stop to the terrible run of form they have suffered since the start of this season. Going without a win since their opening day victory over Nantes left them in eighteenth place in Ligue 1, with a meagre six points. The latest disappointment, a 1-0 defeat at home to Angers, led coach Leonardo Jardim to question the attitude and commitment of his players.
By this point, Monaco’s team is unrecognisable in terms of personnel from the Ligue 1 winners and Champions League standouts of 2017. Six of the starting eleven from that side have now left the club, the latest of which were the departures of Fabinho and Thomas Lemar this summer. Jardim now wrestles with the challenge of rebuilding Monaco with another generation of young players.
Saint-Étienne on the other hand have enjoyed a solid start to the season, finding themselves in sixth place coming into this game, with their only defeat so far this season coming against PSG. They started this game in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with captain Loic Perrin returning to the side to pair up with former Borussia Dortmund centre-back Neven Subotic. Ole Selneas, Yannis Salibur and Wahbi Khazri also returned after not starting against Toulouse in midweek.
In trying to find a way to turn his team’s fortunes around, Jardim resorted to switching to a 3-5-2 for this game, moving away from his usual 4-4-2. The likes of Aleksandr Golovin, Benjamin Henrichs, Nacer . . .