UEFA Europa League, Round 6, 03/11/22
AS Monaco 4-1 Red Star Belgrade
AS Monaco successfully navigated a tricky tie against Red Star Belgrade to progress in their Europa League group. At a rain-drenched Stade Louis II, Monaco took the lead through a Kevin Volland header, with Red Star goalkeeper Milan Borjan caught in no man’s land.
The German then doubled his account on the night and Monaco’s lead with a brilliant technically proficient curling effort from the edge of the box. There was no let-up in the second half, as Aleksandr Golovin danced through the opposition defence before putting a shot across goal that was inadvertently turned into his own net by Milan Rodić.
Red Star struck back immediately through a Guélor Kanga penalty after Benoît Badiashile made a rash, late challenge in the box. They almost scored a second not long after. Aleksander Pesić thought he had brought his side back within one, but VAR adjudged him to be marginally offside and the goal was overturned.
Monaco then wrung the changes, bringing on Vanderson, who brought more defensive solidity. From there, Monaco looked unchallenged and Volland capped his night with his third late in the game. Monaco finish second in their group and progress to the knockout stages for consecutive seasons.
AS Monaco player ratings v Red Star Belgrade
Alexander Nübel – 5
Benoît Badiashile – 5
Guillermo Maripán – 5
Axel Disasi – 5
Caio Henrique – 7 – In Ligue 1, only Lionel Messi and Neymar have made more assists than Henrique. He provided another brilliant assist in this tie, with his sumptuous curling cross from the deep half-space met by Volland to open the scoring.
Mohamed Camara – 6
Youssouf Fofana – 5
Krépin Diatta – 5
Aleksandr Golovin – 7 – Arguably Monaco’s most consistent player so far this season, and their most improved. He was once again a handful for the opposition defence. He has really taken on the mantle of being the playmaker within this Monaco side, and the team looks all the better for it. Monaco’s third goal was all about him, as he dribbled his way through the Red Star defence, before his shot across goal was turned into his own net by Rodić.
Wissam Ben Yedder – 6
Kevin Volland – 9 – The German has been a support act for much of the season so far, playing second-fiddle to Breel Embolo, who has hit the ground running. However, Volland made his case to start more regularly on Thursday. He met Henrique’s pin-point cross well, before doubling his account on the night with a technically adept, curling finish from the edge of the box. He rounded off a perfect night with his third late in the game.
His return to form is potentially pivotal not only for club, but also for country. Timo Werner’s injury gives Volland a glimmer of hope of making Germany’s World Cup squad. His performance against Red Star will certainly have caught the attention of his Hansi Flick.
Others: Vanderson (6), Embolo (4), Matazo (N/A), Jakobs (N/A), Ben Seghir (N/A)
GFFN | Luke Entwistle