A rejuvenated AS Monaco pulled further away from the relegation zone with a 2-0 win over a disappointing Olympique Lyonnais at the Stade Louis II on Sunday.
AS Monaco 2 - 0 Olympique Lyonnais
The contrast between Monaco's performance here and their display in losing 3-0 in Lyon in the reverse fixture in December was striking. With Leonardo Jardim back in the dugout, and with four January recruits in their starting line-up, the principality side are a completely different prospect now.
One of the new signings is Gelson Martins, and the Portuguese international winger starred once again here. He got the opening goal in the 18th minute, controlling Fodé Ballo-Touré's low ball in from the left, spinning on the edge of the box and firing low past his compatriot Anthony Lopes.
It was another Portuguese player who doubled Monaco's lead just prior to the half-hour mark, with Rony Lopes robbing Léo Dubois just past the halfway line on the left flank and advancing into the box before sliding a low shot past the 'keeper and into the far corner (27'). It was his first Ligue 1 Conforama goal since the opening weekend of the season.
Depay penalty saved
Inconsistency has been Lyon's problem all season long. After holding Barcelona in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday, Bruno Genesio's team never played to anything like their best here.
They were not helped by injuries, though. Suspended against Barcelona, skipper Nabil Fekir was missing here due to a knock. In addition, Marçal and Martin Terrier both came off injured in the first half.
Monaco could have increased their lead, with captain Radamel Falcao hitting the post with a curling strike just before the hour mark. Meanwhile, OL were handed the chance to get a goal back when Kamil Glik gave away a penalty 20 minutes from time for chopping down Moussa Dembélé from behind inside the area.
However, Memphis Depay - who had started on the bench before replacing Terrier - had his spot-kick saved by Danijel Subašić, the goalkeeper diving low to his left (71'). Lyon remain third, but they are now five points behind LOSC in second and just three points better off than AS Saint-Etienne, their bitter rivals, in fourth.
THE PLAYER: Gelson Martins
What an impact the 23-year-old has made since signing on loan from Atlético Madrid late in the January transfer window. His opening goal here means he has now scored three goals and set up one more in four Ligue 1 Conforama appearances for the principality side.
THE STAT: 10
That is the number of points Monaco have picked up, out of a possible 12, in four league games in February since Jardim returned to the helm. Having previously failed to win a single home game this season, they have now beaten Toulouse FC, FC Nantes and Lyon in consecutive matches at the Stade Louis II, while also drawing in Montpellier. They are now five points clear of the bottom three.