Ligue 1’s week 8 was brimming with fantastic games and delightful goals. Nine games were settled with a score difference of two or less. One game finished 7-0. After two consecutive lackluster domestic results for the hopeful title contenders, AS Monaco willed a stunning, last-minute half-volley from defender Kamil Glik to draw 1-1 against Bayer Leverkusen in their midweek Champions League match, allowing the club to remain in first place in their group. In domestic action, however, Monaco would only need seven minutes to score the game winning goal against their hapless opponents, FC Metz, who would allow the Monegasques to achieve a club record for largest away victory.
By halftime, Monaco would score a modest three goals from the likes of Thomas Lemar, Valère Germain, and Bernardo Silva. The second goal, carved out from excellent link-up play between Germain and João Moutinho before being cleanly whipped near-post by the former, with aid from a generously confused Metz defense, is my goal of the match. There is nothing more decisive than a quick, straight shot that knows where it is going and refuses to be stopped.
Till the hour mark, Metz clung tightly to dreams of a run-of-the-mill 3-0 defeat and hopes for sweet, Monacan mercy. But, embarrassment would not be denied to the newly promoted side. At 60 minutes, Metz’s Cheick Doukouré earned his red card with an ill-timed sliding tackle, opening the floodgates to an onrushing Monaco. In a span of about 20 minutes, from the 68th to the 89th, Monaco pillaged Metz for four more goals, including a brace from striker Guido Carrillo, who opened up his goal account for the season.
On top of Monaco’s previously mentioned single-game record, the high flying Red and Whites have also broken their record for most goals scored in their first eight games, with 22, clearing their 1957/58 tally by two. The club also tied their 2003/2004 record for most points after eight games, with 19. (Note: these stats come from AS Monaco and one assumes the stats only refer to the French top flight. If not, they are even greater feats!)
Despite leading the league in goals scored (22) and goal differential (13), Monaco still find themselves looking up at the undefeated OGC Nice, who sit in first, by a single point. Monaco’s next string of domestic games should prove easy fodder as they face such middling clubs as Toulouse (who came crashing back down to earth in a 1-0 loss to little Caen), Montpellier, Saint-Étienne, Nancy, and Lorient. However, Monaco will also face CSKA Moscow twice in the Champions League during that span, before ending with their second match against Tottenham.
Meanwhile, Nice have an easy set of matches coming up as well, save for their very next match at home against Lyon. The league leaders will also have their Europa League games against Red Bull Salzburg and Schalke interspersed within. With the on-fire Mario Balotelli picking up two yellow cards after the 86th minute (because of course he did), and thus, out for the match against Lyon, next week is a key one for Monaco and their fellow title challengers.