Monaco moved into the top four with an impressive 2-0 win over Lyon on Saturday night.
Both teams were playing knowing that three points for either of them would take them into fourth place, but the away side had to do without support following their punishment for fan behaviour against Paris FC.
Jean Lucas – a former Lyon player – gave the home side the lead as their opponents struggled to rouse themselves, with Tanguy Ndombele kept to the bench after his arrival from Spurs.
Ben Yedder made it two midway through the first half after a great pass from the impressive Sofiane Diop.
In the second half, Ndombele was immediately introduced and while Lyon were better than their subdued efforts in the first half, they did not really threaten their hosts.
Monaco – now fourth – will now host Amiens in the French Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday, while Lyon host Nice next weekend as they look to move up from eighth.
TALKING POINT – LYON SUFFERING FROM THEIR SUPPORTER BAN
Lyon have impressed for much of the season and after bringing back Tanguy Ndombele from Spurs there were reasons for optimism. However they started slowly and the game was lost before they had even got going.
Last year their fans caused havoc at a Paris FC cup fixture as part of a spate of French football violence and perhaps Lyon have been punished pour encourager les autres as much for their own transgression.
But that does not matter. Lyon could have done with both support and admonishment, and now they have to do without that from their fans as they suffer from their ban.
MAN OF THE MATCH – SOFIANE DIOP (MONACO)
While others around him did well to finish his side’s moves, he was at the heart of their attacking. Having made his under-21 debut for the national side last year, if he keeps on showing performances like this he has a chance of going to Qatar next season.
Strong on the ball with neat technique, quick with and without it at his feet, he is also an attacking and creative threat. He was crucial to Monaco’s win tonight.
Monaco: Nubel 6, Aguilar 6, Disasi 6, Maripan 6, Henrique 6, Lucas 6, Tchouameni 6, Martins 6, Diop 8, Ben Yedder 8, Volland 6. Subs: Fofana 6, Vanderson 6, Eliot 6, Akliouche 6.
Lyon: Lopes 6, Dubois 6, Boateng 6, Lukeba 6, Gusto 6, Caqueret 6, Mendes 6, Henrique 6, Paqueta 6, Emerson 6, Dembele 7. Subs: Ndombele 6, Faivre 7, Cherki 6, Barcola 7, Keita 6.
2’ – GOAL! MONACO 1-0 LYON – LUCAS SCORES – Jean Lucas bursts in at the near post and turns in a low cross from the left, straight past a stranded ‘keeper.
21’ – CHANCE FOR DIOP – He takes the ball in from the left, and from the edge of the box he strikes a shot that loops off a defender and just over the bar.
27’ – GOAL! MONACO 2-0 LYON – BEN YEDDER SCORES – The forward gets his 14th league goal of the season. Diop slides in a pass for Ben Yedder’s run, and he scoops an excellent finish over Lopes to make it two.
50’- DIOP CHANCE – He advances on goal and from just outside the box he slices a shot just a yard wide of goa.