Friendly match – AS Monaco overthrown by Southampton (3-1) a week before facing PSV Eindhoven

Deprived of St Mary’s Stadium since the beginning of July, because requisitioned for the Women’s Football Euro, the Southampton players have savored their return to their setting: during an eventful friendly match, the Saints won 3 goals to 1 AS Monaco this Wednesday evening.

Philippe Clement’s men nevertheless achieved a convincing first half, punctuated by a goal from Aleksandr Golovin in the 39th minute, on a clear volley. Takumi Minamino, the Japanese rookie unearthed in Liverpool this summer, also showed all his talent, showing himself on all the offensive balls of the Principality club.

But the changes made by Ralph Hasenhüttl on leaving the locker room completely reversed the situation. By bringing in some of his executives, preserved in the first period, the Austrian coach managed to glean his first victory of the pre-season, after two draws and a defeat. A great operation, which allows the Saints to approach the resumption of the English championship with more confidence and certainty. In particular, the one that midfielder James Ward-Prowse, a specialist in set pieces, is the key to their game.

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The Important Ward-Prowse

Entering in the 65th minute, the English n°8 began the domination of his team over ASM, stifling the Monegasque offensives, while camping the camp of the Reds and Whites. A paying choice, since after Adam Armstrong equalized in the 52nd minute, when he was not yet on the pitch, his half-hour presence on the lawn allowed the Scottish striker to score Stuart Armstrong (73rd), who had not scored a single goal in the Southampton jersey for 14 games. To conclude his performance in style, the English maestro offered himself the last goal of the meeting (87th), by placing a delicious ball between Alexander Nübel and his left upright.

A disappointing match for the Monegasque team, which must now focus on its next deadline: the first leg qualifying match for the Champions League play-offs on August 2, during which ASM will host trained PSV Eindhoven at the Stade Louis II by Ruud van Nistelrooy. We will necessarily have to do better than this Wednesday, but despite this defeat, Philippe Clement’s players must and can take positives from their friendly matches, before launching an assault on European competition.

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