Monaco moved back in front before half-time through 21-year-old Adama Diakhaby and Leonardo Jardim's French champions held on with the aid of a terrible miss by Nice midfielder Pierre Lees-Melou. "This victory was deserved and it is very important for our fans," said Monaco coach Jardim after his side's sixth straight win. "Diakhaby is progressing, even if he's not doing everything right, he's young and we believe in him."
Thomas Lemar scored as Monaco advanced to the Coupe de la Ligue semi-finals with a 2-1 win over Nice pic.twitter.com/thVwaPZZeC— Goal UK (@GoalUK) January 9, 2018
The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) is being used for the rest of the competition as a test ahead of its expected arrival in Ligue 1 next season, having been used in the promotion/relegation play-off last year. "It's good, we're losing two or three minutes in the whole game," Jardim said. "Errors will decrease, not totally, but by 80 percent." The hosts were given a blow before kick-off as the in-form Mario Balotelli failed to regain fitness in time after suffering with glute pain. Monaco made a fast start and took the lead in only the third minute, as Lemar found space to head in Keita Balde's cross from close range to score his third goal of an injury-hit season and send out a message to potential suitors at Arsenal and Liverpool.
Are you watching, Arsene Wenger? ?— Goal (@goal) January 9, 2018
Thomas Lemar scores for Monaco! pic.twitter.com/Gx5rWoMNqQ
The visitors continued to be the better side, though, and they retook the lead as forward Diakhaby sent a half-volley flying into the corner from another excellent Balde delivery.
Thomas Lemar has now been directly involved in 5 goals in his last 6 games for Monaco:— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 9, 2018
3 goals ⚽
2 assists ?️
In fine form. pic.twitter.com/WGwydkF54b
Nice threw bodies forwards in the second half without creating many clear-cut chances, but Lees-Melou should have equalised when he headed wide with the goal gaping from only three yards out. Runaway Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain, who have won four straight League Cups, will look to extend their incredible 34-match winning streak in domestic cup games at Amiens on Wednesday.
Are you watching, Arsene Wenger? ?— Goal UK (@GoalUK) January 9, 2018
Thomas Lemar scores for Monaco! pic.twitter.com/kdKBZfY4Bq
Thomas Lemar scored as Monaco advanced to the Coupe de la Ligue semi-finals with a 2-1 win over Nice pic.twitter.com/vhFq17hY53— Goal (@goal) January 9, 2018