AS Monaco breathed a collective sigh of relief on Tuesday night after the 2-1 away victory in the local derby against Nice.
The win avenges the 4-0 thrashing Monaco received last September, and pushes Monaco into the semi-finals of the French League Cup.
Striker Keita Baldé set up both goals for Monaco, missing star striker Radamel Falcao. Thomas Lemar headed the ball home three minutes into the game and shortly afterwards had a goal disallowed for offside. After Nice equalised in the 18th, Monaco took the lead again in the 38th minute.
Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim pointed out why the win was so important: ”It was important for two reasons: because we have qualified for the semi-finals and it was an objective of ours to go as far as possible in this competition, and because it was a derby and so it was important for our supporters.
“It has not gone well here the last couple of times. Today was hugely satisfying. We used a different approach to get our two goals. It is to be expected that we are stronger with the injured players back. We have a competitive squad to enable us to play every three days.”
Lucien Favre, the Nice coach, was clearly disappointed: ”It is hard to swallow because the chance was there for us to go through. We are very disappointed to be eliminated. We will need to pick ourselves up in the league.”