Michael Murphy challenges for a high ball in Clones. Photo Thomas Gallagher
Donegal lost once more but still have a chance to stay in Division One next week after Sunday's game in Clones.
In the end a goal from Ryan Wylie at the start of the second half was a killer blow for Donegal. Wylie was a half-time substitute and he was allowed through to fire low to the net as he was falling after just 45 seconds of the new half.
Donegal had come back well after falling behind in the opening half thanks to a Jamie Brennan goal, but in the end they weren't able to match the Farney men when it mattered.
Donegal had five changes from their starting team against Tyrone with Odhran MacNiallais and Ryan McHugh among those missing.
Michael Murphy started at midfield and had Donegal on the board inside two minutes, winning and pointing a free.
However, it would be their last point until the 20th minute although they did have chances. Conor McManus levelled while Leo McLoone was fouled going through but got no free, one of many baffling decisions in the opening half by Sean Hurson.
Donegal had a great goal chance on five minutes, Jamie Brennan turning his man and finding Eamonn Doherty, but his shot was tame and was put out for a '45' by Rory Beggan.
Beggan and David Garland converted frees to push Monaghan 0-3 to 0-1 ahead, before Niall O'Donnell, after a great run, won a free for Michael Murphy to point on 20 minutes.
Monaghan then had a purple paqtch with points from Dermot Malone, Rory Beggan (free) and two beauties from Conor McManus inside 30 seconds to open an 0-7 to 0-2 lead.
But then Donegal finished the half really well. Murphy and Eoghan Ban set up Jamie Brennan and he blasted just over with his left. Niall O'Donnell added another inside a minute and then Stephen McBrearty found Jamie Brennan and he worked a one-two with Ciaran McGinley before getting in along the endline to fire to the roof of Beggan's net.
Brennan was on fire and added a point three minutes later to put Donegal in front by 1-5 to 0-7.
Before half-time two David Garland frees (one of them very soft) had Monaghan back in front while Niall O'Donnell was almost in at the other end.
Half-time: Monaghan 0-9, Donegal 1-5.
There was disaster for Donegal at the start of second half as Ryan Wylie was allowed through to fire to the net on 45 seconds and less than a minute later Kieran Hughes had Monaghan 1-10 to 1-5 in front.
Karl O'Connell and Conor McManus (free) had points either side of a good point from Eoghan Ban Gallagher.
But Monaghan pushed further in front with points from Dessie Mone and a monster from Beggan to just one from Ciaran Thompson in reply as the game entered the final ten minutes.
Michael Murphy won and pointed a free to reduce the margin to four but Monaghan were able to keep possession and thwart Donegal in the final minutes.
To add to their misery Caolan McGonagle was shown black and red after minutes earlier getting yellow as Conor McManus closed the game with a free and Conor McCarthy had the final point.
Just before the end Donegal lost Caolan McGonagle, not long on the field, to a black card after being yellow carded minutes earlier.
Scorers - Monaghan: Conor McManus 0-5,2f; Rory Beggan 0-3,3f; David Garland 0-3,3f; Ryan Wylie 1-0; Karl O'Connell, Dessie Mone, Kieran Hughes, Dermot Malone, Conor McCarthy 0-1 each.
Donegal: Jamie Brennan 1-2; Michael Murphy 0-5,5; Eoghan Ban Gallagher, Niall O'Donnell, Ciaran Thompson 0-1 each.
DONEGAL: Shaun Patton; Paddy McGrath, Caolan Ward, Conor Morrison; Eamonn Doherty, Frank McGlynn, Eoghan Ban Gallagher; Michael Murphy, Hugh McFadden; Ciaran McGinley, Leo McLoone, Stephen McBrearty; Niall O'Donnell, Michael Langan, Jamie Brennan. Subs., Martin O'Reilly for C McGinley 39; Nathan Mullins for McLoone 42; Ciaran Thompson for S McBrearty 48; Darach O'Connor for Langan 57; Caolan McGonagle for C Ward 64; Tony McClenaghan for McGlynn 71
MONAGHAN: Rory Beggan; Colin Walshe, Conor Boyle, Kieran Duffy; Barry Kerr, Drew Wylie, Karl O'Connell; Kieeran Hughes, Niall Kearns; Dessie Ward, Dermot Malone, Ryan McAnespie; Darren Hughes, David Garland, Conor McManus. Subs., Ryan Wylie for Walshe; Dessie Mone for Kerr, both ht; Conor McCarthy for Garland; Owen Duffy for Malone, both 51; Paudie McKenna for D Ward 63; Aaron Lynch for Kearns 72