Week after week, everyone expects Montpellier to fall flat on their face and start moving down the standings. Coach Rene Girard even said at the start of the season that his team’s goal was to avoid relegation, and that they would eventually move down the standings. Even team boss, the colorful Louis Nicollin, expected his team to have a decent, but not great, year. Still, with 30 games already in the books, Montpellier look to be poised to not only avoid relegation (which is now mathematically impossible), but to actually play in European competition as well.
Last week, Montpellier got a wake up call from Lille, another team looking to make a charge for one of the three Champions League positions. With a returning Gervinho (and for those of you who put money on Niang or Nene to win the scoring title after Gervinho’s injury, all I have to say is ’not so fast’), Lille dominated the southern French side with a 4-1 victory. Pure and simple, Montpellier were outplayed during the entire match. Lille dominated in possession, quality chances on goal, basically everything. Still, Lille seems to be a team that, if they can keep together, be destined to be the next Lyon or Bordeaux.
But back to Montpellier. They lost. They were dominated. But does this mean anything? Even the mighty Bordeaux loses to St. Etienne, so anything is possible in Ligue 1. Still, Montpellier play today against Monaco, a team which is one of the ‘hotest-coldest’ teams in Ligue 1. One string of good matches and they look like they can challenge for the top five. Another few weeks, and they look destined for the midtable. And with only eight matches left to play in this season, Monaco’s season looks to be heading toward the latter.
So what should we look for in today’s game?
Filed under: AS Monaco FC, LOSC Lille, Montpellier HSC | Tagged: Alberto Costa, Arsene Wenger, Chu Young Park, Karim Ait-Fana, Nene, Souleymane Camara, Stephane Ruffier, Victor Montano | 5 Comments »