Ligue 1, Round 17, 01//01/23
AS Monaco began the New Year with a narrow victory over relegation-threatened Stade Brestois at the Stade Louis II. Aleksandr Golovin scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory that moves Les Monégasques provisionally up to fourth in the Ligue 1 standings.
Monaco began 2023 on the front foot. Mohamed Camara struck the post with a long-range volley before Golovin curled narrowly wide from inside the box. Marco Bizot was then called into action twice, both times from Krépin Diatta as Les Monégasques ramped up the pressure towards the end of the first half. Philippe Clement would have been frustrated to not go in ahead after Eliesse Ben Seghir, making his first Ligue 1 start, pulled off a lovely bit of skill within the box, but couldn’t hit the target from just eight yards out.
Brest came out in the second half with a bit more gumption, however, they soon found themselves behind. On the break, Aleksandr Golovin cut back onto his right foot from just outside the box and blasted a powerful shot past Bizot.
However, Brest weren’t out of the tie and they tested Alexander Nübel. The Bayern Munich loanee was forced into a smart save from substitute Jérémy Le Douaron, who then later shot wide from a good position. Le Douaron then completed his hat-trick of missed chances when he faced up to Nübel one-on-one, but could only shoot tamely straight at the goalkeeper.
Steve Mounié then missed a brilliant chance late on to level the score when he could only hit the crossbar with a headed effort. Brest couldn’t find the equaliser and therefore remain in the relegation zone.
Monaco player ratings
Alexander Nübel – 6 – Had nothing to do in the first half, but was up to the task when he was tested on multiple occasions during the second.
Caio Henrique – 5
Guillermo Maripán – 5
Axel Disasi – 5
Vanderson – 5
Mohamed Camara – 7 – Vocal, composed and intelligent, Camara once again ran the midfield. He dictates the tempo of the game and knows exactly when to speed up and slow down the game. He could have had a spectacular goal to his name, had his long-range volley not been denied by the inside of the Brest post. He assisted Golovin’s opener, even though in truth, it was a goal almost entirely of the Russian international’s making.
Youssouf Fofana – 6 – The returning French international made a slow start, but gradually grew into the game. His progressive game is constantly improving, and he displayed some impressive vertical passes to work his teammates into dangerous situations. His defensive positioning was also spot-on, and he knew exactly when to be aggressive in his defending and when to drop off. Given his presence on the international scene, there are increased expectations of Fofana, and he is largely living up to them.
Aleksandr Golovin – 7 – Arguably Monaco’s player of the season so far, the Russian playmaker made a game-changing contribution yet again. Whilst the teammates around him wasted some great chances, he took his with aplomb. Cutting back just outside the box, he rifled home emphatically.
Eliesse Ben Seghir – 5 – Once again livewire, as he was on his Ligue 1 debut against Auxerre in midweek. He showed some exciting touches and glimpses of his immense dribbling ability, without necessarily having the same impact on the game. He worked a brilliant goal-scoring opportunity at the end of the first half with a stunning piece of skill, but he couldn’t keep his composure from eight yards out to find the target and open the scoring. Things may not have gone his way, but he showed that he is a special player and certainly one to keep an eye on in the coming weeks and months.
Krépin Diatta – 6
Breel Embolo – 4 – One of Embolo’s quietest games in a Monaco shirt. The Swiss striker struggled to get involved in the game and played a largely peripheral role.
Others: Aguilar (6) – made a crucial intervention at the back-post shortly after coming on for Vanderson, Boadu (N/A), Jakobs (N/A)
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