PLAYER RATINGS | Monaco 2-0 Brest: Denis Zakaria stars as Monaco return to winning ways

Ligue 1 Uber Eats, Round 11, 05/11/2023

Following last weekend’s defeat to Lille OSC, AS Monaco returned to winning ways against Stade Brestois with Denis Zakaria and Aleksandr Golovin getting on the scoresheet in a hard-fought victory (2-0). 

Match Report

Whilst the ball hit the back of the net four times in the first half, only one goal stood. Jérémy Le Douaron was the first to see his goal ruled out. He met Mehdi Camara’s ball across goal perfectly, but after a lengthy VAR check, it was adjudged that Folarin Balogun was fouled in the build-up.

Monaco could have been behind, but just minutes later, they were ahead as Denis Zakaria met Aleksandr Golovin’s corner to net his first for the club. Balogun thought he had doubled the Principality club’s advantage with a neat dinked finish, but he had strayed just offside. 

Just two minutes later, the ball was in the back of the net again, but once again, it would not stand. Lillian Brassier powered a back-post header past Philipp Köhn but he too was marginally offside. Brest then felt aggrieved not to have been awarded a penalty after Le Douaron was brought down by Krépin Diatta in the box, but the referee did not blow and VAR did not contradict him. 

Eric Roy received a yellow for his consistent and very vocal criticism of Eric Wattellier’s refereeing performance and refereeing decisions continued to be a spiky point of contention throughout the second half. After an open first half, chances were harder to come by, but Monaco did manage to make the break thanks to Aleksandr Golovin, who capped a brilliant move with a sumptuous curling effort into the top corner. 

Brest almost immediately worked a way back into the game, but Brendan Chardonnet’s header flicked the post and away to safety. Pierre Lees-Melou also struck the woodwork with his driven shot from the edge of the box forcing Köhn into action. He palmed the ball onto the bar and away to safety. 

Monaco heeded Brest’s warnings and didn’t concede any more chances. Brassier, who had earlier seen his goal disallowed, then received a second yellow for a nasty challenge on Myron Boadu late on as Monaco saw out the victory, which temporarily lifts them above local rivals OGC Nice and into second. 

Monaco player ratings

Philipp Köhn – 5

Soungoutou Magassa – 5

Guillermo Maripán – 5

Wilfried Singo – 7 – the Ivorian defender has slotted in seamlessly to this Monaco defence. He won the ball back seven times, only Lees-Melou and Kenny Lala bettered that figure. Singo, a wing-back by trade, was also direct and efficient in his use of the ball in possession. He’s slowly cultivating himself a reputation as one of Ligue 1’s most versatile defenders. 

Ismael Jakobs – 4

Denis Zakaria – 7 – his ability to receive the ball deep and beat the press is invaluable to Monaco and he has very quickly become a focal figure for the Principality club. He got his first goal for the club in the first half and continued to make his presence in the midfield felt throughout the match. 

Youssouf Fofana – 4 – captain on the night, the France international was culpable of losing the ball too easily and too often. Very much outshone by his midfield partner Zakaria, who ran the show for Les Monégasques.  

Krépin Diatta – 5

Aleksandr Golovin – 7

Folarin Balogun – 6

Maghnes Akliouche – 5

GFFN | Luke Entwistle

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