PLAYER RATINGS | Monaco 1-0 Rennes: Stade Louis II curse broken as Les Monégasques retake podium position

Ligue 1 Uber Eats, Round 28, 07/04/24

AS Monaco secured a crucial victory at home against Stade Rennais (1-0), their first at the Stade Louis II in 2024, thanks to Maghnes Akliouche’s first-half goal. Monaco leap-frog Lille OSC and back into third, whilst Rennes’ chances of securing UEFA Champions League football next season are becoming increasingly remote. 

Pre-match, Monaco manager Adi Hütter said that he preferred an exciting 5-2 to a boring 1-0. His play style is a testament to that as Les Monégasques launched an early bombardment of the Rennes goal. The Principality club really ought to have led after just four minutes, but unpressured at the penalty spot, Youssouf Fofana blazed his glorious effort over the bar. 

Wissam Ben Yedder should also have done better with his effort just moments later, but after a brilliant Steve Mandanda save from Thilo Kehrer, he could only head over with the goal gaping. Monaco create plenty of chances, but they concede plenty too, especially in transition, and they were thankful to Radoslaw Majecki on multiple occasions as he denied Amine Gouiri and then Martin Terrier in the first half. The latter’s effort forced a Hollywood save from the Polish goalkeeper, who tipped the effort onto the bar. 

Monaco did take the lead midway through the first half and it came courtesy of Maghnes Akliouche, who met Ismail Jakobs’ pull back into the box to tuck past Mandanda. Both sides had chances to add to the scoreboard before the half, but a mixture of wastefulness and good goalkeeping kept the score to just 1-0. 

Just seconds into the second half, Martin Terrier was then sent off for a clumsy studs-up challenge on Akliouche. However, with the numerical advantage, Les Monégasques failed to create chances. Aleksandr Golovin’s long-range curled effort, which forced Mandanda into an acrobatic save, was as close as Monaco got before Kehrer’s red card, received for a second yellow, saw the playing field levelled. 

Having failed to see outmatches at the Stade Louis II in recent times, Monaco, looking for their first home win since 3rd December 2023, dropped deeper and nerves crept in. Those nerves were truly tested when Guéla Doué went down under a challenge from Fofana. Stéphanie Frappart was sent to consult VAR, but she kept with her initial decision not to award a penalty. 

Monaco held on to secure a crucial three points that take them back into third, whilst Rennes remain ninth and 10 points away from the Champions League places with just six games remaining. 

Monaco player ratings

Radoslaw Majecki – 8

The Polish goalkeeper really has justified Hütter’s decision to drop Philipp Köhn. He made a string of crucial saves, notably from Terrier, Gouiri, Bourigeaud and Ludovic Blas. Those saves determined the match. 

Ismail Jakobs – 4
Thilo Kehrer – 3

The West Ham loanee was run ragged by Rennes’ forwards in the first half and was notably turned inside out by Kalimuendo on one occasion. Struggling to contain his opponents, he was handed a yellow, which then turned into a red midway through the second half for a clear tug on Kalimuendo, who had once again slipped through his fingers. Generally convincing since arriving from West Ham on loan in January, this was a day to forget.

Wilfried Singo – 5
Vanderson – 6
Youssouf Fofana – 4
Denis Zakaria – 6
Aleksandr Golovin – 7

Now in a deeper role, Golovin is showing another side to his game. His long-range distribution was highly impressive and allowed Monaco to break through the lines. His intensity out of possession has improved in recent weeks and he is looking a more complete midfielder as a result. No goals or assists against Rennes, but no less influential.

Maghnes Akliouche – 7

It is incredible to think that Akliocuhe had never scored in Ligue 1 before this season. He is becoming a go-to man and his finish, on his weaker foot no less, was indicative of a player whose confidence is sky-high. 

Takumi Minamino – 6
Wissam Ben Yedder – 5

Rennes player ratings

Steve Mandanda – 7

Like his opposite number, Mandanda’s interventions kept the scoreline down considerably. He couldn’t have done anything about Akliouche’s effort but he gave Rennes a fighting chance. 

Adrien Truffert – 4
Christopher Wooh – 4
Arthur Theate – 4
Alidu Seidu – 4
Désiré Doué – 5
Azor Matusiwa – 5
Benjamin Bourigeaud – 4
Martin Terrier – 3
Arnaud Kalimuendo – 6

Both he and Gouiri looked threatening and occupied their defenders, but both lacked the service to make the difference in the right areas of the pitch. 

Amine Gouiri – 6

GFFN | Luke Entwistle

 

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