PLAYER RATINGS | Lyon 3-2 Monaco: OL end Monaco’s 8-game unbeaten run to bolster European hopes

Ligue 1 Uber Eats, Round 31, 28/04/24

Olympique Lyonnais beat AS Monaco (3-2) to end the Principality club’s eight-game unbeaten run, whilst also bolstering their own European hopes. The result sees Paris Saint-Germain crowned champions for the third-successive season.

The fog from the pre-match pyrotechnic show, which had delayed kick-off at the Groupama Stadium, had not even settled when Monaco took the lead. After a piercing run from Maghnes Akliouche, he laid off Takumi Minamino, which found its way to Wissam Ben Yedder at the back post, via Folarin Balogun. The Frenchman put the chance away and whilst it was initially ruled out for offside, it was ultimately given. Coming after just 22 seconds, it was Les Monégasques’ quickest goal in a Ligue 1 game in the 21st century. 

Balogun had the ball in the back of the net after being played through by the influential Akliouche, however, it was ruled out for a clear offside. Instead, it was Lyon who would get the next goal in the encounter with Saïd Benrahma finding Alexandre Lacazette completely unmarked six yards out. The former Arsenal striker couldn’t miss and he didn’t. 

Just four minutes later, Lyon took the lead. The provider turned goalscorer with Benrahma latching onto a ball into the box and finishing emphatically past Majecki. Hütter, unimpressed, rung the changes at half-time: Balogun, Vanderson and Guillermo Maripán came off, replaced by Kassoum Ouattara, Breel Embolo and Mohamed Salisu. The former made an impact down the left. 

As the hour mark approached, Monaco grew back into the game. Youssouf Fofana tested Anthony Lopes before the Frenchman then put the ball on a plate for Ben Yedder to head home and double his account on the night. The French striker then could – and perhaps should – have added a third and put Monaco back ahead but having worked room in the box, he could only put a timid shot just wide of the post. 

Both sides had further chances: Ben Yedder had the ball in the back of the net but the effort was ruled out for offside, whilst Rayan Cherki, who caused havoc off the bench, missed a golden chance at the back post. However, that miss wouldn’t prove consequential.

With Monaco pushing for a winner, they were left exposed at the back and Lacazette exploited the gaping holes in the Monaco defence, threading Malick Fofana through on goal. The latter kept his cool to wrongfoot Majecki and secure all three points for Les Gones.  

With Stade Brestois and Lille OSC winning early in the day, Monaco are reeled in but still retain a two-point lead over third-placed Brest. OL meanwhile, are provisionally seventh, which will be enough for them to play in Europe next season. 

Lyon player ratings

Anthony Lopes – 5
Clinton Mata – 4
Duje Caleta-Car – 6
Jake O’Brien – 4
Ainsley Maitland-Niles – 5
Nemanja Matić – 4
Saïd Benrahma – 7

A decisive performance from Benrahma who got a goal and an assist on the night. The Algerian had a tendency to drift out of the game, however, he was clinical when it mattered most. 

Corentin Tolisso – 5
Maxence Caqueret – 7
Ernest Nuamah – 6
Alexandre Lacazette – 7 

A goal and an assist from the former Arsenal man who had a knack of evading the attention of the Monaco defenders. He constantly found space and often used it to good effect. 

Monaco player ratings 

Radoslaw Majecki – 5
Krépin Diatta – 3

The Senegal international struggled out on the left in the first half and was particularly sloppy in possession. For a time, he looked more at ease back on the right but Malick Fofana caused him considerable problems when he came on.

Thilo Kehrer – 4
Guillermo Maripán – 4
Vanderson – 5
Takumi Minamino – 4
Youssouf Fofana – 6
Denis Zakaria – 5
Maghnes Akliouche – 8

The standout player on the pitch. His work created Monaco’s opener, whilst he would have had another had his striker been more efficient with a second-half chance. Deadly in transition, his growth this season has gone unrecognised but in Aleksandr Golovin’s absence, he has taken the mantle of creator-in-chief.

Wissam Ben Yedder – 6
Folarin Balogun – 4

Hütter seemed frustrated by Balogun’s performance in the first half. The USMNT forward struggled to hold the ball up and it proved costly on Lyon’s equaliser. After a brace against Metz earlier this month, it had been hoped that he would kick on and end the season strongly. That has not been the case. 

Others: Mohamed Salisu (5), Kassoum Ouattara (6), Breel Embolo (5)

GFFN | Luke Entwistle

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