Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Monaco 3-1 PSG: French champions suffer an early blow to their title defence

Milos Markovic in Editorial, Ligue 1 28 Aug 2016

Monaco earned 3 big points against holders PSG / Image via asmonaco.com

Monaco earned 3 big points against holders PSG / Image via asmonaco.com

Ligue 1 holders Paris Sain-Germain travelled to the Principality club looking to open up a small gap ahead of expected title rivals Olympique Lyonnais and Monaco, but Unai Emery’s men have been given an early wakeup call following their empathetic 3-1 loss against Les Monegaques.

Sunday’s encounter saw a completely different scenario to last year’s 3-0 victory at Stade Louis II by Les Parisiens with Monaco putting a strong performance to keep the champions at bay and extend their fine form of late.

Leonardo Jardim’s men have kicked off their new campaign by qualifying to the group stage of the UEFA Champions League having beaten La Liga side Villarreal 3-1 on aggregate. Champions League qualification gave Jardim’s team a much needed momentum which helped them get back from a Ligue 1 opening draw against Giungamp (2-2) with back-to-back triumphs against Nantes (1-0) and PSG on Sunday night.

Tonight’s match also marked an end to PSG’s nine-match winning run in all competitions which extended all the way to the final Ligue 1 round in May and a 4-0 home win over Nantes.

Monaco’s victory over Ligue 1 champions is a great impetus for all the clubs competing in the French top flight, who can now hope that the current season will be much more volatile than the last one, which ended in dominant 30-point margin for PSG on top of the table in front of their closest rivals.

Statistical Overview

A look at the statistics from Sunday’s match at Stade Louis II can give a slight insight into the on-field proceedings.

Paris Saint-Germain largely dominated possession with 66% of ball to their feet to 34% from the home side. Despite their obvious dominance which was most evident during the second half of the game, Les Parisiens lacked their recognisable cutting edge up front.

Monaco fired the total of nine shots at goal compared to six from the visiting side, which is a clear indicator of Monaco’s more concrete approach to the match.

In all honesty, the hosts’ exploits were aided by David Louiz’s recklessness which led to the penalty kick prior to the second goal and even more by Serge Aurier’s mistake which resulted in an own-goal for 3-1.

First Half

Angel Di Maria and Edinson Cavani were the two players who showed greatest desire and resolve in the opening stages of the game as the Argentine and Uruguayan combined on two occasions in the final third, only for their efforts to be ruled offside.

Monaco worked well with their tight and organised play to get upfront after only 13 minutes of play though.

Djibril Sidibe made a run through the right-hand side and displayed great vision with his pass back to Joao Moutinho whose first-touch shot from the centre of the box flew into the bottom right corner of PSG’s goal.

Hosts tried to further exploit the surprise effect and extend their lead in the first half, but Bernardo Silva and Valere German’s attempts from outside the box and inside the area respectively missed to the left.

Visitors attempted through Edinson Cavani, who first tried his luck after 25 minutes when his right footed shot from the centre of the box went closely off the right post. The same player got into a fine chance to level the score five minutes from time in the first half, but his shot after Angel Di Maria’s assist was saved by Monaco keeper Danijel Subasic.

And just when it seemed that both teams would be going to half time with the result 1-0 on the score sheet, David Silva’s reckless foul on Jemerson resulted in a penalty kick successfully executed by Fabinho, who sent his team to the break with a 2-0 lead.

Second Half

Half time team talk from Unai Emery resulted in a much different showing from the reigning champions, who completely dominated the proceedings.

Monaco were pushed back onto their own half of the pitch and were forced to defend hard, which resulted in an intercepted play and plenty of fouls.

Leonardo Jardim’s men did not show much at this point in the game against Les Parisiens, who were determined to get back in the game as early as possible.

Former Monaco man Layvin Kurzawa came close to scoring ten minutes inside the second half but his fine attempt from a difficult angle on the left came very much close to Monaco’s goal. The dominance paid off less than ten minutes later when Edinson Cavani finally capped his fine performance with a goal.

Uruguay striker headed from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner after an assist from Serge Aurier.

PSG defender’s good work was undone ten minutes from time when Serge Aurier inadvertently diverted a pass from Monaco player into his own net taking Trapp completely by surprise, as PSG keeper already went to the other side to cover the opposition.

Paris Saint-Germain’s dominance came to nothing against well-organised hosts who extended their winning streak and demonstrated that current Ligue 1 campaign might turn out to be more volatile and unpredictable than it was the case last year.

It also showed that there is a long road in front of Unai Emery, despite some early positives.

MONACO: Subasic 7.5 – Sidibe 7.5, Jemerson 7, Glik 7.5, Raggi 6.5, Mendy 7 – Silva 7 (Boschilia 6), Fabinho 7, Moutinho 8, Bakayoko 7, Germain 6 (Dirar 6)

Unused subs: Badiashile, Diallo, Jean, Toure, Traore

PSG: Trapp 6 – Aurier 6, Kimpembe 6, Luiz 5.5 (Meunier 6), Kurzawa 7 – Verratti 6.5 (Mautidi 6), Motta 7, Rabiot 6.5 – Lucas 6.5 (Ben Arfa 6), Cavani 7.5, Di Maria 7

Unused subs: Marquinhos, Areola, Augustin, Krychowiak

REFEREE: Ruddy Buquet

Other results today

Bordeaux 1-0 Nantes

St Etienne 0-0 Toulouse


Milos Markovic

Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia Sportske.net, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently Soccernews.com and Futbolgrad.com. His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.



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