Ligue 1, Round 33, 30/04/23
AS Monaco were played off their own pitch by Montpellier, who for the second week in a row, condemned Philippe Clement’s side to a resounding and damming defeat (0-4). This one does yet more harm to their chances of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
Aleksandr Golovin had the first chance of the game within just 25 seconds, but his volley was straight at former Monaco goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomete. However, despite superior possession, Les Monégasques struggled to procure chances in the first half, and it was Montpellier who looked the more threatening on the counter-attack.
Elye Wahi, strongly linked with a move to Monaco this summer, was a livewire and at the heart of many of Montpellier’s threatening moves. He slid in Arnaud Nordin, who couldn’t put his first-time effort past the onrushing Alexander Nübel. Nordin did get his goal not long after, with the visiting side profiting from a stray pass from Youssouf Fofana, who was then beaten by Nordin on the edge of the box, the former Saint-Étienne man curling past Nübel from outside the box.
The goalscorer almost turned provider, but having played Wahi through, the latter’s finish was stubbed just inches wide of Nübel’s left-hand post. A two-goal lead certainly wouldn’t have been undeserved for the visitors.
Clement made three changes at the break, but couldn’t stop the rot. After Wahi got the beating of Maripán, on a yellow card, once more, the Chilean was also hooked. There was a completed impotence to this Monaco team, who went three behind after a deft Wahi flick put Christ-Emmanuel Maouassa through to slot past Nübel.
Things would get worse. Stpehy Mavididi then came on and quickly got in on the action. He was in acres of space inside the box when he finished past the German keeper. No further agony was inflicted by Montpellier, who are now comfortably mid-table. Monaco, meanwhile, could have a fight to keep hold of their fourth place.
Monaco player ratings
Alexander Nübel – 5 – He may have conceded four times, but without the German shot-stopper, who has been rightly criticised at points throughout the season, it would have been many more. He was quick off his line on many occasions to smother good chances and made himself big, notably to prevent Nordin in the second half.
Caio Henrique – 3
Guillermo Maripán – 2 – Wahi isolated him 1-v-1 throughout and had the beating of the Chilean centre-back, who got a yellow for a rash and frustrated challenge just before the break. After being beaten by Wahi once again early in the second half, Clement made the change and withdrew his centre-back.
Axel Disasi – 3
Ruben Aguilar – 4
Mohamed Camara – 3
Youssouf Fofana – 2 – At fault for losing the ball for two of Montpellier’s goals. He couldn’t even make the more routine passes. Touted for a move this summer, his form since the World Cup hasn’t been befitting of a player linked with teams such as PSG.
Aleksandr Golovin – 3 – The Russian playmaker wasn’t at full fitness and it showed. Not at his usual electric best, and replaced by Eliesse Ben Seghir (4) at the break.
Kevin Volland – 3 – The German had just 14 touches before being subbed at half-time. Replaced by Krépin Diatta (3).
Edan Diop – 3 – Like all of the attacking elements of Monaco’s team, the Diagonale product played a peripheral role before being withdrawn at halftime. He was replaced by Ismaïl Jakobs (3).
Wissam Ben Yedder – 3
Selected Montpellier player ratings
Elye Wahi – 8 – If this was Wahi’s audition to join Monaco in the summer, he passed with flying colours. He ran the show for the visitors and perhaps should have got on the scoresheet. He bullied Maripán, forcing his substitution and then managed to isolate his replacement, Matsima, on multiple occasions. His reversed backheel assist for Maoussa was the moment of real class of the match.
Arnaud Nordin – 8
Wahbi Khazri – 7
GFFN | Luke Entiwstle