Ligue 1 Uber Eats, Matchday 6, 22/09/23
Folarin Balogun missed two penalties for AS Monaco as they slumped to their first defeat of the season against local rivals OGC Nice. Jérémie Boga netted the winner in injury time.
Nice looked to immediately put Monaco under pressure, and as it did against PSG in last week’s victory, their pressing caused Les Monégasques problems. Good work from Morgan Sanson allowed Nice to win the ball back high. The Aston Villa loanee laid it off for Terem Moffi, who fed former Monegasque Sofiane Diop. However, the winger’s finish lacked conviction. It wasn’t the only chance he’d miss against his former club.
However, the first major chance fell to Monaco. Caio Henrique’s ball over the top was met by Aleksandr Golovin, who was felled by Jordan Lotomba as he rounded Marcin Bulka. Folarin Balogun stepped up, but just as he did last year when playing for Reims, he missed his penalty against Nice. A flurry of chances of varying quality were created by Francesco Farioli’s men, who lacked the finishing touch. Diop in particular was culpable of being highly profligate.
Before the hour mark, Balogun had the chance to make amends for his earlier miss. This time it was Takumi Minamino who was felled in the box, but once again the former Arsenal forward blasted right at Bulka. Both sides continued to push for a winner, with both sets of ‘keepers making important saves. However, Köhn was beaten in injury-time. Substitute Jérémie Boga went on a mazy run before blasting past the Swiss shotstopper. Nice take the three points to overtake Monaco and go top, inflicting the first defeat of the season on their local rivals in the process.
Monaco player ratings
Philipp Köhn – 7 – won’t necessarily get the plaudits because of what Bulka did at the other end, but a high-quality match from the Swiss goalkeeper, who made a series of crucial saves, notably from Moffi.
Soungoutou Magassa – 4
Denis Zakaria – 6 – brought in specifically to deal with the threat posed by Moffi, and he contained the Nigerian striker well.
Wilfried Singo – 5
Caio Henrique – 5
Mohamed Camara – 4
Youssouf Fofana – 5
Vanderson – 5
Aleksandr Golovin – 5
Folarin Balogun – 3 – a torrid night for Balogun, guilty of two misses from the spot. He has now missed three penalties in two matches against Nice. His general link-up play was good, and if not for the two penalty misses, it would have been a solid performance.
Takumi Minamino -5
Nice player ratings
Marcin Bulka – 8 – didn’t have much to do apart from the two penalty saves, but after a difficult night against his former club PSG last week, this was an impressive return to top form. Nice’s point is thanks to him.
Melvin Bard – 5
Dante – 5
Jean-Clair Todibo – 6
Jordan Lotomba – 4
Khéphren Thuram – 5
Youssouf Ndayishimiye – 5
Morgan Sanson – 6
Sofiane Diop – 3 – the kind of performance that justifies Monaco’s decision to sell the France youth international. His departure, especially to a local rival, raised a few eyebrows at the time, but that golden few months under Niko Kovac now feels a distant memory. He hasn’t progressed since, but he’ll need to in order to keep match-winner Jeremie Boga out of the starting XI.
Terem Moffi – 5
Gaëtan Laborde – 5