Diatta does the business for Monaco

Diatta does the business for Monaco


FREE PICKS 16.09.2021
TIME: 21:00
MonacoMonaco – Sturm GrazSturm Graz
PICK: 1 Odd: 1.40 FT: 1-0

Diatta does the business for Monaco

Krépin Diatta’s second-half header was enough to secure Monaco a hard-fought 1-0 win over a stubborn Sturm Graz side to begin their UEFA Europa League (UEL) group stages campaign on a winning note. 

Monaco had the first sight of goal when Wilson Isidor’s header flew over the bar. Diatta saw his deflected strike go wide just a few minutes later, and the Senegal international was then presented with another chance, only to fire over the bar following a Gelson Martins pass. The hosts were on top and Martins was on the end of a free-flowing Monaco move, but was thwarted by Jörg Siebenhandl. The Portuguese was causing Sturm Graz all sorts of problems, and he sent another curling effort just past the far post. It was pretty much all one-way traffic from the hosts, and this time Aurélien Tchouaméni was next to try his luck with a header that flew over the bar. Kevin Volland then nodded wide himself from an even more promising position, in the latest of a number of missed opportunities for Niko Kovač’s men before the break.

‘The Monégasques’ were politely knocking on the door rather than hammering it down after the break, as a smart volley from Tchouaméni was easily collected by Siebenhandl. The visitors really struggled to gain any sort of foothold in the contest, but Jakob Jantscher did have a first-time opportunity close to goal that flew over the bar. Another Monaco opening went begging, this time from Diatta, as his shot went inches over the target. But those frustrations were forgotten when Diatta added his name to the scoresheet with a fine header from Aleksandr Golovin’s cross to get himself and Monaco a well-deserved opening goal in the 66th minute.

Kovač’s side will be looking to continue their winning momentum in the UEL when they travel to San Sebastián for a match against Real Sociedad on 30th September, while Sturm Graz host PSV Eindhoven the same day.