PARIS (AP) — Sacking Thierry Henry made little impact on Monaco’s players, who lost at fellow struggler Dijon 2-0 to leave their club 19th in the French league on Saturday.
Monaco won the league title and reached the Champions League semifinals in 2017. This season, however, is turning into a farce of monumental proportions.
Henry was sacked on Friday after just three months in the job. He was replaced by Leonardo Jardim , himself fired by the club in October to make way for Henry.
Having reportedly paid Jardim 8 million euros ($9 million) in compensation, Monaco is likely to have to pay Henry even more — since he was on a hefty three-year deal — and also pay Jardim handsomely for his new 2 1/2-year contract.
Furthermore, the earnings lost if the eight-time French champion gets relegated will run into many millions more in TV rights.
So Jardim has to weave some magic and keep Monaco up, with only 16 of 38 league games remaining.
He was not even on the bench for this must-win basement clash, as Henry’s former assistant coach Franck Passi took charge for one game only.
Passi selected 36-year-old defender Naldo, one of Henry’s signings during this month’s transfer window, and Naldo was sent off in the 60th minute with the score 1-0. It was Naldo’s second red card in just three league games. Midfielder Naim Sliti netted Dijon’s second goal in the 69th minute as Dijon moved into 16th place.
While it has been a humiliating first coaching experience for Henry , things are going well for his former Arsenal and France teammate Patrick Vieira. He is in charge of Nice and has instilled some of the renowned discipline and tactical organization from his playing days.
They beat Nimes 2-0 thanks to goals from Algeria right back Youcef Atal and speedy winger Allan Saint-Maximin.
Strasbourg beat inconsistent Bordeaux 1-0 at home with an injury-time winner from defender Kenny Lala, and Guingamp remained in last place after losing at home to Reims 1-0. Guingamp defender Papy Djilobodji was sent off in the 59th while trailing.
Unbeaten league leader Paris Saint-Germain is at home to Rennes. A win will move PSG 13 points ahead of second-place Lille, which won at Marseille 2-1 on Friday .
PSG, which has played two games less than Lille, will be without the injured Neymar and Marco Verratti.
Third-placed Lyon is at Amiens; and Montpellier meets Caen at home.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports