Monaco loses again, digs deeper Ligue 1 hole

Associated Press

AS Monaco is suddenly in deep, deep trouble. It didn’t seem real, merely just an early-season phase, but slowly it’s becoming more and more palpable.

The 2016/17 Ligue 1 champions lost 2-1 to Stade Rennais on a 77th minute winner by Hatem Ben Arfa (remember him?), dropping its fourth straight match across all competitions, and their seventh loss in the last nine matches. The club is without a win since August 11th when they won their season opener against Nantes.

Ben Arfa’s goal was a cracking shot, but also a product of terrible goalkeeping as Danijel Subasic will wish he had reacted earlier to give him a chance at saving the effort. It had been coming though, as Monaco had been reduced to 10 men just seconds before halftime on a moment of sheer idiocy when 34-year-old defender Andrea Raggi was caught clearly catching Clément Grenier with a right hook on a corner.

The bright side for Monaco is they actually scored, with Radamel Falcao bagging a man-down goal soon after the break. Scoring is something Monaco hadn’t done in a whopping 382 minutes across all competitions.

Still, the silver linings end there. Monaco is now 18th in the Ligue 1 table, four points back of safety already. The club sold a host of young players over the summer, including Kylian Mbappe, Thomas Lemar, and Fabinho, but that should not have doomed a club with seemingly endless young talent to such depths of the table. Leonardo Jardim was a highly-coveted name this offseason but chose to stay with Monaco, and that could potentially backfire should things continue to fester.