Silva strikes late as Monaco win derby
A late goal by substitute Bernardo Silva gave 10-man AS Monaco a 1-0 victory away to OGC Nice at the Allianz Riviera in the Côte d'Azur derby on Friday evening.
OGC Nice 0 - 1 AS Monaco
The match seemed destined to end in a goalless draw until Silva popped up in the 85th minute, sliding a shot low into the far corner of the net from the edge of the box after Yannick Ferreira Carrasco had intercepted a Kévin Gomis clearance.
It was a first league win since late January for Monaco and was achieved despite them having Aymen Abdennour sent off in stoppage time at the end of the first half for a dangerous challenge with his studs up on the thigh of Romain Genevois.
Leonardo Jardim's side, who didn't play last weekend after their game against Montpellier was postponed, move provisionally into fourth spot ahead of the rest of the weekend's games and could be pleased at gaining revenge for a 1-0 defeat when they hosted Nice in the reverse fixture back in September.
Kurzawa off injured, red for Abdennour
Monaco have now conceded just one goal in their last 10 Ligue 1 games and just three in 17 matches in all competitions. However, while the result comes as a boost ahead of their trip to play Arsenal in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie in midweek, they are left sweating on the fitness of left-back Layvin Kurzawa, who was forced off injured in the first half.
The French international defender was replaced by 18-year-old Almamy Touré, who made his Ligue 1 debut for Monaco. Matheus Carvalho, the Brazilian winger signed on loan last month, also made his Ligue 1 bow and he missed a glorious chance to open the scoring late in the first half, messing up his shot under pressure from Lloyd Palun after being played in by a superb Dimitar Berbatov pass.
Mouez Hassen in the home goal then produced an excellent save from a Berbatov volley, which came following a cross from wide on the left by Abdennour. The Tunisian moved across to the left-back position after Kurzawa was forced off, but his sending-off before the interval forced Jardim to reshuffle his defence once again.
Abdennour will now miss next week's home match with Paris Saint-Germain due to suspension, which is bad news for a Monaco side who were already missing the likes of Andrea Raggi and Ricardo Carvalho due to injury here.
Despite that, they held out to keep another clean sheet, although Nice came closest to opening the scoring in the first 85 minutes when Carlos Eduardo - the match-winner in the last derby - headed a corner against the bar midway through the second half.
Claude Puel's side offered little more, however, and failed to score for a fourth consecutive match while falling to their first league defeat of 2015. They could drop out of the top half depending on results elsewhere this weekend and also lost Palun and Genevois to injury in the first half.