Ligue 1 Round 20, 21/22 – 9/1/22
METZ – 0
Marc-Aurèle Caillard, 6 – Although far from spectacular, three of his five saves were important to keeping the score down, a arched stop to stop a bouncing effort from Ajorque and a smart save from Sahi who was clean through late on were the highlights.
Jean-Armel Kana-Biyik, 4 – At fault for the second from Ahoulou, as he thighed the ball into the air, but also prevented another striker earlier on with a last-ditch sliding tackle to steal the ball away from Ajorque as he was about to fire home. Had little response to Ajorque generally, however.
Amadou Salif Mbengue, 5
Thomas Delaine, 4
William Mikelbrencis, 4
Boubacar Traoré, 6 – Despite his much-depleted side being outplayed for long periods his hustling of Strasbourg midfielders plus a precise and considered use of the ball drove much of Metz’s better forward play. On the fringes last season, Traoré’s addition to the squad been a minor success story for Metz this year.
Vincent Pajot, 6 – Worked hard and was one of few Metz players to look at the required Ligue 1 standard thanks to his pressing in midfield and some well time tackles plus some neat use of possession.
Warren Tchimbembé, 5
Nicolas de Préville, 5
Ibrahima Niane, 3
Others: Niakate 5, Nguette 5, Gueye 5, Bassi 5, Yade 5.
STRASBOURG – 2 (Ajorque 50, Ahoulou 90)
Eiji Kawashima, 5
Lucas Perrin, 5
Gerzino Nyamsi, 7 – He hit the bar with an early header and was commanding throughout in his defensive work. With Alexander Djiku away at the African Cup of Nations with Ghana, he assumed responsibility as a leader and was proactive and exacting as the middle of three centre-backs.
Ibrahima Sissoko, 6
Frédéric Guilbert, 5
Dimitri Liénard, 6 – Not far from seven with the most shot-creating actions out of any one (7) while providing the most pressures for his team with 12.
Sanjin Prcić, 5
Adrien Thomasson, 6
Jean-Ricner Bellegarde, 6
Ludovic Ajorque, 8 – Comfortably had the beating of all three Metz centre-backs, both technically and physically, and was pivotal to Strasbourg’s build-up play, using his size and some deft passing to bring Gameiro and Thomasson into the game. He muscled in to head home a crucial opener and set up Ahoulou’s second with a clever reverse headed ball.
Kevin Gameiro, 5
Others: Ahoulou 6, Caci 5, Sahi 5.