AS Monaco managed to forge a narrow victory against struggling AC Ajaccio this evening, but were unlucky not to win by a greater margin having dominated possession and had the greater number of chances.
The recalled Anthony Martial had the best opportunity of the first half for the Ligue 1 title challengers, when he managed to beat two defenders in the penalty area before unleashing a fierce shot that needed to be tipped around the post by Guillermo Ochoa.
Ochoa was in action again moments later to keep out Jeremy Toulalan, who saw his shot from the edge of the box helped over the bar by the visitors' keeper.
The Corsican outfit's best response of the opening period came when Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi got on the end of a pinpoint only to direct his header over the bar.
Ajaccio's hopes of holding on for a draw were dealt a blow when Pierazzi was sent off for a silly challenge on James Rodriguez on 62 minutes.
The visitors duly fell behind when Emmanuel Riviere put the Monegasques ahead at the fourth time of asking, slamming the ball past Ochoa.
The home side tried to find a second goal but saw free kicks from Rodruigez and Joao Moutinho come back off the woodwork.
In the end, Claudio Ranieri's side took the three points, which moves them back into second place, two points behind Paris Saint-Germain.