PLAYER RATINGS | Monaco 3-2 Auxerre: Eliesse Ben Seghir scores in nervy Monaco victory

Ligue 1, Round 21, 01/02/23

Monaco rarely looked troubled in this match. Les Monégasques are statistically one of the most prolific clubs in Europe at this moment in time, and they scored from their first chance. Youssouf Fofana’s brilliant first-time through ball was perfectly in the path of Ben Yedder, who slotted home confidently. 

Gelson Martins then had a couple of half-chances before Ben Seghir doubled the lead with a rifled shot from outside the box, not too dissimilar to the one he scored against Auxerre back in December. On loan Olympique de Marseille defender Isaak Touré then went close to halving the deficit just minutes later, but he couldn’t steer a flick-on on target. 

Auxerre did get their goal in the second half. After a drop ball, Les Monégasques didn’t read the pace of the game as Auxerre upped the rhythm to work their way in behind, Matthis Abline with the finish. The nerves then began to kick in for Monaco. The Principality side have made a bit of a habit of squandering leads, and Nuno Da Costa gave Monaco a scare, hitting the post. 

Breel Embolo, on for Ben Yedder, finished emphatically from close-range, blasting into the roof of the net to restore Monaco’s two-goal cushion. However, another lapse in Monégasuqe concentration handed Auxerre another route back into the tie, this time Da Costa made no mistake with the finish. Monaco had a nervy finish, but saw out the victory (3-2), and are unbeaten in Ligue 1 since the return of the World Cup. 

Monaco player ratings

Alexander Nübel – 4

Caio Henrique – 6

Guillermo Maripán – 4 – Maripán, as well as his centre-back partner Disasi were untested in the first period, and when they were in the second, they didn’t quite read the rhythm of the game. A lack of concentration saw them punished twice. Monaco may be firing at all cylinders in attack, but the same can’t be said of their defence. 

Axel Disasi – 5

Vanderson – 6

Aleksandr Golovin – 6

Mohamed Camara – 5

Youssouf Fofana – 6 – A brilliant one-touch assist to open the scoring, but failed to dictate the tempo of the game alongside Camara in key moments in the second-half. 

Gelson Martins – 7 – It is no secret that the right-hand side of Monaco’s midfield has been a problem area this season. Neither option has consistently impressed, but after a strong performance from Krépin Diatta Ajaccio, it was Martins’ turn to impress this time. The Portuguese winger is known to be a player highly reliant on confidence. His performance is suggestive of returning confidence. 

Eliesse Ben Seghir – 8 – The academy product was afforded way too much space by Auxerre, and he made the most of it. As he has since breaking into the first team after the World Cup break, he lit up the game with moments of trickery, as aesthetic as they are effective. His goal was sublime and evocative of his goal in the match against Auxerre in December, which attracted the eyes of French football. Just like Kylian Mbappé’s entry onto the scene, Ben Seghir’s rise has been explosive. He now needs to maintain this level whilst rounding out his game. 

Wissam Ben Yedder – 7 – After his profligate showing against Marseille, this was more like the Ben Yedder that we know. With his calm finish, which opened the scoring, he became the outright third-highest scorer in the club’s history with 90 goals. Sometimes found lacking in the build-up, Ben Yedder was proactive in making himself available and assumed a creative burden. 

GFFN | Luke Entwistle

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