AS Monaco returned to winning ways in emphatic fashion, thrashing Montpellier 6-2 at the Stade Louis II on Friday night to go second in the French Ligue 1 table after 10 games.
Leonardo Jardim’s men have been full of goals this season, looking a much more convincing side with a 70% win ratio, compared to the draw-heavy season they’re coming off the back of.
Monaco’s transformation from a defensive side to uber-attacking outfit in three seasons
In Leonardo Jardim first season at Monaco (2014/15), the side utilised a counter-attacking style, keeping a tight defensive record and modest goals for tally. Monaco weren’t dominating games, but they were hard to break down and made the most of slender leads due to their resilience at the back. Such a style worked perfectly away from home where sides would control possession so it was no surprise to see Monaco boasting the best away record in 2014/15.
The following season saw Monaco’s defence exploited heavily but still they seldom lost games. Unfortunately, the French club didn’t win as many as the previous campaign and drew 37% of their matches which saw them fall considerably short in the title race. Jardim acted following the disappointment and has set out on a new attacking formula to turn the draws into wins. Last season, Monaco scored 57 goals, but they already have more than half that tally after just 10 games. Their transformation of the current runners-up has been impressive.
Ruthless and boasting high fitness levels
Monaco in the past were resilient, relying on pace on the break to turn defence into attack. Now the side are looking a much more convincing outfit capable of tearing teams apart due to their relentless attacking nature. They look to get the ball forward at every given opportunity and sometimes start with two strikers to aim at in the box. Monaco’s defensive record has suffered as a result of their aggression style, conceding twice as many goals (14) as leaders OGC Nice (7), third-placed Paris Saint-Germain (7) and fourth-placed Toulouse (7).
Jardim’s side are no longer relinquishing leads due to poor fitness late in the game. Monaco are capitalising on vulnerable sides to boost their goal tally and ensure the game is over when they take the lead. Monaco have scored 29 goals in just 10 games this season, nine more than the second-highest scorer. Such an aggressive attacking style is so far yielding the right results, and AS Monaco are 13/2 to win the French Ligue 1 title this season as a result. They look a real force now they have correcting the problems of last season.