Kylian Mbappe struggles to perform as a defensive masterclass from Niko Kovac’s AS Monaco down Paris Saint-Germain 2-0.
Paris Saint-Germain lose further ground in the Ligue 1 title race following another defeat to AS Monaco – this time at the Parc des Princes. The loss helps LOSC Lille extend their lead at the top of the table to four points, while Monaco bridge the gap third-placed PSG to just two points.
Thriving under the leadership of Niko Kovac, Les Monégasques started the game on a bright note, finding the opener within six minutes through Sofiane Diop. The goal gave the visitors the incentive to employ a calculated defensive approach as they frustrated the PSG players with their low block and some diligent defending.
It was a similar story in the second half, where Monaco once again scored an early goal – this time through Guillermo Maripan. While PSG did have the lion’s share of possession, they could hardly trouble the opposition goalkeeper, notably amassing a total of just one shot on target in the entire game.
Monaco, in contrast, totalled three shots on target despite having just five attempts. While the visitors did have some nervy moments at the end, the two goal cushion was simply way too much for the Ligue 1 champions as they stumble yet again in Ligue 1 this season.
Here, at the Hard Tackle, we will take a closer look at how these two teams performed in this important result in the context of this season’s title race in the French top flight.
Keylor Navas: 5/10
Keylor Navas couldn’t have done anything to save any of the two goals scored by Monaco. Had some nervy moments in between the sticks and certainly not a positive game for the PSG goalkeeper.
Alessandro Florenzi: 5/10
It was not a great day at the office for Alessandro Florenzi. The Italian did show attacking intent but was defended quite well by the Monaco defenders.
Marquinhos played a key role in the build-up play for the PSG side. While the defender was not at fault for any of the two goals, he certainly needs to take up better responsibility, as leader of the backline.
A defeat 😔
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) February 21, 2021
Presnel Kimpembe: 5/10
Presnel Kimpembe didn’t have a great time in defence either. He should have a bit better in his defending while in the build-up he often slowed the game with a lack of ball progression.
Layvin Kurzawa: 5.5/10
Layvin Kurzawa was all over the place when Monaco netted their first goal of the match. Offensively, the fullback did provide a threat but lacked the end product.
Ander Herrera: 4/10
Ander Herrera had a miserable night against Monaco. He simply couldn’t influence the game and also conceded the turnover that led to their second goal of the night.
Leandro Paredes: 5/10
Another player who struggled to impose his presence in the middle of the park, Leandro Paredes simply couldn’t offer enough ball progression. His passes were also way too passive as the opposition remained solid.
Idrissa Gueye: 5/10
Idrissa Gueye started in midfield in order to provide the assurance in the build-up. While he didn’t do much wrong, the penetration and the creativity just wasn’t there in his game.
Moise Kean: 5.5/10
Moise Kean produced the only shot on target for PSG in this game – a tame effort that did not trouble Benjamin Lecomte. He worked hard but that productivity was missing.
Mauro Icardi: 5/10
Mauro Icardi showed his quality at times but often lacked the consistency to propel his performance. A bad outing from the PSG attacker, who couldn’t even get a single shot on target.
Kylian Mbappe: 4/10
Kylian Mbappe was perhaps the worst performing attacker for PSG in this game. The Frenchman didn’t create any danger whatsoever for the Monaco defence and often looked wasteful in the final third.
After his incredible display against Barcelona, Mbappé got 2️⃣ out of 10 from L'Equipe for his performance against Monaco tonight. PSG lost 2-0 at home and are now third. Four points off the top with 12 games to go. https://t.co/0gIgAmbeuh
— Mark Rodden (@MRodden) February 21, 2021
Marco Verratti: 7/10
Marco Verratti was brought in before the hour-mark to add more creativity to the game. He looked bright, especially with his passing and dribbling, but it wasn’t enough to make a difference.
Rafinha was introduced in the 55th minute as Mauricio Pochettino looked for more creative essence in the final third. He didn’t provide anything to the table, though.
Julian Draxler: 6/10
Julian Draxler took care of the set-pieces after coming on during the final phase of the game. Nothing productive.
Danilo Pereira: 6/10
Offered more defensive solidity after replacing Paredes in the 73rd minute.
Benjamin Lecomte: 6/10
With just one shot on target, Lecomte barely had anything to do in the entire. A relatively easy clean sheet for the AS Monaco goalkeeper, who continues to impress this season.
Axel Disasi: 7.5/10
Axel Disasi deserves a lot of credit for stepping up to the plate, despite being a sporadic member of the Monaco team in recent weeks. The defender was a rock at the back, preventing PSG from creating any clear cut chances.
Gullermo Maripan: 8/10
Guillermo Maripan’s leadership qualities were key in marshalling the young centre backs alongside him. The 26-year-old led by examples, most notably scoring the second goal through an outstanding finish.
🔎 | FOCUS
Guillermo Maripán was the main man for Monaco in their big win:
— SofaScore (@SofaScoreINT) February 21, 2021
Benoit Badiashile: 7.5/10
Benoit Badiashile produced a strong, matured display in the three-man backline for Monaco. He looked composed in possession while barely allowing any freedom for the PSG attackers.
Ruben Aguilar: 8/10
Back into the starting eleven after a while, Ruben Aguilar made a telling impact. He defended quite well on the right-hand channel but it was offensive endeavours that troubled PSG, with the right-back notably assisting Diop’s opener. One of the best performers in this game.
Aurelien Tchouameni: 8/10
Aurelien Tchouameni dominated the midfield with his crisp passing and ball progression. In addition, the youngster showed brilliant composure on the ball, even though Monaco had so little possession.
Youssouf Fofana: 7.5/10
While Tchouameni provided the assurance in possession, it was Youssouf Fofana who used his tenacity and aggression to make things difficult for the PSG midfielders. A vital cog in Monaco’s second line of press.
Caio Henrique: 7/10
Caio Henrique perhaps wasn’t as impressive as Aguilar on the opposite flank, but he fared well in dealing with the threat of Kean on the far side. Moved forward at times to provide the width in attack.
Sofiane Diop: 8.5/10
Sofiane Diop operated as more of a joint number ten, using his technical prowess to good effect. His bursts into the final third particularly caused problems for the PSG defenders, with the playmaker being rewarded with an early goal.
— beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) February 21, 2021
Kevin Volland: 7/10
Kevin Volland missed a glorious opportunity in the second half to add further gloss to the scoreline. Apart from that, though, the German made good use of his movements in the final third.
Wissam Ben Yedder: 7/10
Wissam Ben Yedder may not have found the back of the net, but his incredible work ethic and versatility in the final third was a vital asset in Monaco’s offensive play. His movements, in particular, allowed the likes of Diop and Volland to gain more space to work with.
Steven Jovetic: 6/10
Steven Jovetic replaced Ben Yedder during the final phase of the game. Couldn’t do much to add more goals to the table.
Aleksandr Golovin: N/A
A late replacement for Diop. Didn’t play enough to warrant a rating.
Djibril Sidibe: N/A
A late replacement for Aguilar. Didn’t play enough to warrant a rating.
Fode Ballo-Toure: N/A
A late replacement for Volland. Didn’t play enough to warrant a rating.