Relive Sports Mole's coverage from Ligue 1 where AS Monaco host Ajaccio at the Stade Louis II.
By Matt Cotton, Reporter Filed: Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 19:31 UK
Last Updated: Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 03:44 UK
AS Monaco played hosts to Ajaccio at Stade Louis II in Ligue 1 on Sunday night with the chance to close the gap on the league leaders.
The principality club were looking for a third win in eight days, while Ajaccio were frantically trying to escape from the relegation zone and chasing their first win in 10 league matches.
In a one-sided affair, Monaco eventually got the win they deserved to move up to second in the table.
Read how the match unfolded in our live commentary below.
7.33pmGood evening and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of Ligue 1 action where AS Monaco host Ajaccio at Stade Louis II.
7.34pmThis match marks the end of our weekend coverage of Ligue 1, with three games having already been played today.
7.35pmHowever, this match has huge implications at the top and bottom of the division. Monaco can move into second place with a point and will keep at pace with Paris Saint-Germain and Lille, while Ajaccio can move to within four points of safety should they emerge victorious today.
7.37pmMonaco have won their last three games in a row, and have only tasted defeat once in the league this season. The omens are looking good for them ahead of this match, although they're expected to continue without star man Radamel Falcao.
7.38pmOn the contrary, Ajaccio have only won a single match this season which came back in September. They've lost six of their last eight matches, although they do go into this game off the back of a good draw at Bastia.
7.39pmHowever, Ajaccio have made the trip to Monaco six times in their past, and they are yet to taste victory here. They've drawn three and lost three at Stade Louis II.
7.40pmSo form, statistics and history all point to a Monaco win tonight, but you just never know in football.
7.43pmDespite this being Monaco's third match in eight days, manager Claudio Ranieri has opted to stick with the same team that won 3-0 at Nice during the week.
7.44pmThat means that Falcao, Yannick Ferreira Carrasco and Nabil Dirar are all still out for the hosts, but Ricardo Carvalho starts despite having suffered a fractured nose. He will wear a protective mask for this match.
7.45pm18-year-old striker Anthony Martial has another chance to impress tonight, as he lines up alongside Emmanuel Riviere in attack.
7.50pmDespite getting a good point at Bastia earlier this week, Christian Bracconi makes as many as six changes to his team for this match.
7.52pmClaude Dielna and Eduardo drop to the bench, while Joshua Nadeau is suspended after being sent off in Corsica. Claude Goncalves, Sigamary Diarra and Dennis Oliech all drop out of the squad. Ajaccio are still without Ronald Zubar and Benoît Pedretti, who are both sidelined until after the winter break.
7.54pmGrenddy Perozo, Benjamin Andre, Paul Lasne, Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi, Denis Tonucci and Gadji Tallo all start tonight.
7.54pmAnd here is what Bracconi has available among his substitutes.
7.59pmThe teams are on their way out at Stade Louis II, we're just moments from kick off.
8pmMonaco are in their first strip of red and white halved shirts with white shorts and socks, while Ajaccio are in an all-grey away kit.
1 minKICKOFF! Ajaccio, playing from right to left, get the match underway.
2 minMonaco have again started with a diamond midfield tonight, which has really seen James Rodriguez flourish in the most advanced berth in that formation.
3 minRodriguez has the first shot of the game, but his effort flies wide.
5 minNo real chances other than Rodriguez hit so far. Both sides have had free kicks that they've put into the box, but they've come to nothing.
7 minTallo hits a shot from long range, which only just manages to reach the hands of Subasic.
10 minMoutinho receives a pass on the edge of the box from a corner on the right. His first touch sees the ball flick up into the air, and he then has to wait for it to drop before he can shoot at goal, but the effort sails high over the bar.
11 minNot a huge amount of action so far. Monaco have had more possession, but neither keeper has had much to do yet.
14 minIt's still all Monaco at the moment, but there is a fairly lethargic pace to the game, which probably isn't helped by how empty the stadium is all the time.
16 minSAVE! This is nearly a superb goal from Martial. He gets the ball on the edge of the box, flicks it behind him, wriggles through a couple of defenders before slamming a left-footed effort towards the bottom right corner, but Ochoa can fly to his left to push the ball behind for a corner. Brilliant shot and a brilliant save.
17 minMonaco have two successive corners, but can do nothing with either.
19 minMonaco are really starting to take charge now with some impressive stuff. It wouldn't surprise me if we saw a goal soon.
20 minSAVE! Ochoa called into action again as he palms over Toulalan's shot from the edge of the penalty area.
22 minMonaco have dominated possession so far, pushing 75% of it with a quarter of the match gone. Still goalless though.
25 minYELLOW CARD Pierazzi cynically brings down Rodriguez from behind as Monaco broke forward. The Ajaccio man knew exactly what he was doing.
28 minMonaco are still in charge, but it's amazing that they haven't taken the lead yet.
30 minTallo gets a bit of fortune as the space opens up for him on the edge of the box. He hits the ball into the ground though as he shoots across the face of goal from the right towards the bottom corner, but Subasic can easily hold it.
33 minKurzawa catches the ball on the volley as it drops from the sky on the left of the box, and the left-back boots it into orbit. Needless to say, it wasn't close.
34 minIt's like a training session for Monaco at the moment given the way they're just knocking the ball about, and that could prove costly as one or two mistakes are starting to creep into their game.
37 minCLOSE! A rare chance for Ajaccio as a cross comes in from the left, and the visitors have a two on one situation on in their favour. However, Pierazzi heads over the bar.
40 minCLOSE! Superb technique from Martial as the cross comes in from the right. The ball is behind him, but he executes a bicycle kick from out of nowhere that sees the ball curls just wide of the near post.
43 minCouple of minutes to the break, and Monaco should really be ahead. Ajaccio will be delighted that they have survived for as long as they have thus far.
45 minTallo crashes into Carvalho and goes down holding his left shoulder. He's in some discomfort, but he's going to be ok.
9.02pmThe teams are back out, and we're ready for the second half.
46 minKICKOFF! Monaco, attacking the right, get the second half up and running.
48 minCHANCE! Kurzawa whips in a good ball from the left, which Martial goes for with his head bravely under threat from the defender, but he nods just wide.
49 minMonaco have continued from where they left off and are living in the Ajaccio half at the moment.
50 minOchoa makes a good save from Riviere in a crowded penalty area, but the striker was offside anyway.
54 minMonaco have been so comfortable at the back tonight, Abidal has just made going up against Tallo for a loose ball look easy.
55 minAJACCIO CHANGE Eduardo, who scored the equaliser against Bastia in their last game, comes on up front in place of Tallo.
56 minSAVE! Fabulous save again from Ochoa. Moutinho floats a corner from the right to the far post where Carvalho attacks it powerfully. However, Ochoa is equal to it and keeps it out with strong palms.
58 minCHANCE! Still Monaco threaten, but still they fail to score. Martial cuts in on his right foot from the left edge of the box, but curls a shot just over the far post.
60 minMONACO CHANGE First alteration of the game for Ranieri's side as Martial is replaced. Lucas Ocampos comes on.
60 minIt's a shame that Martial has gone off, he has looked superb tonight, but there is still a lot to come in this guy's future.
60 minAJACCIO CHANGE Tonucci slowly walks off the field, with Dielna coming on.
62 minRED CARD! Pierazzi is sent off for a daft tackle on Rodriguez. It's his second yellow of the match as a result of being suckered in by the Monaco man. He just jumped in at the feet of the midfielder on the touchline. Stupid.
63 minThat certainly won't help Ajaccio, who have been chasing shadows for most of tonight. Surely now Monaco can press more for an opener? Then again, that might not change a thing as Ajaccio continue to put everyone behind the ball.
64 minAJACCIO CHANGE Ricardo Faty is coming on, with Cavalli the man sacrificed. It's a defensive change from Bracconi. Monaco fans are unhappy with the time it is taking for Cavalli to leave the field.
69 minI simply don't know how this is still goalless. If Ajaccio end up with a point here, it will be some achievement.
70 minRodriguez puts a good pass into Ocampos in the box. The latter's first touch is just a fraction too heavy, which gives Ochoa enough time to collect the ball.
71 minGermain is getting ready to come on for Monaco. Ranieri bringing on another attacker.
72 minMONACO CHANGE Germain comes on in place of Obbadi.
73 minMonaco have had 65% possession, are playing against 10 men, yet it's still goalless.
75 minGOAL! AS Monaco 1-0 Ajaccio (Emmanuel Riviere)
75 minFinally, Monaco have taken the lead...eventually! It was almost a comedy of errors though as the cross came in from the left, Ocampos and Germain both missed it, Raggi's "shot" goes backwards, but Riviere can slam the ball into the back of the net at the fourth time of asking. Crazy stuff, but Monaco are now in front.
77 minMonaco are still attacking. Can they add a few more late goals?
80 minOFF THE POST! Monaco are inches away from doubling their lead. They have a free kick 25 yards from goal slightly to the right of centre, and Rodriguez bends it with his left foot, over the wall and towards the near corner. Ochoa is well beaten, but the ball comes off the inside of the post, and Ajaccio can clear it away.
83 minMonaco have another free kick on the edge of the box as Abidal (Yes, Abidal!) is brought down.