Kylian Mbappe scored a brace as Paris Saint-Germain brushed aside AS Monaco 2-0 at Parc des Princes on Sunday.
Paris Saint-Germain maintained their healthy lead at the top of the Ligue 1 table after securing a 2-0 victory over AS Monaco on Sunday. They are now 13 points adrift of second-placed Marseille, making them the undisputed favourites to regain the French league title.
Although the scoreline may suggest otherwise, it was a bizarre game for PSG, who were dominated by Monaco for large parts of the proceedings. Especially in the first half, the visitors were completely on top of their opposition, attaining more possession and creating a lot more goalscoring opportunities.
Niko Kovac’s men, though, were far from impressive in terms of their productivity. With just three of their efforts on goal hitting the target, the attackers failed to truly trouble the PSG goalkeeper. They were not helped by an early goal from Kylian Mbappe either, with the Frenchman handing his team a valuable lead in the 12th minute, thanks to a penalty that was won by Angel Di Maria.
Monaco continued to apply the pressure but they were undone by a mistake by Youssouf Fofana that allowed Lionel Messi and Mbappe to combine and score the second goal, just before the half-time whistle. It was enough to kill the game off, as Monaco’s struggles in front of goal persisted after the restart. Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the PSG team in their win over Monaco.
Gianluigi Donnarumma: 8/10
Gianluigi Donnarumma was one of PSG’s best performers on the pitch, in this bizarre game. He made multiple good saves and posed himself as an intimidating figure in goal, preventing the Monaco attackers from gaining the upper hand, even from close range opportunities. A deserved clean sheet for the ex-AC Milan starlet.
HT | PSG 2-0 Monaco:
The visitors with no shortage of chances but unable to convert, PSG up after Mbappé converted a penalty awarded after a Sidibé foul on Di María, and the Frenchman added another before the break. Donnarumma impressing tonight.
— Get French Football News (@GFFN) December 12, 2021
Achraf Hakimi: 6/10
Achraf Hakimi was not as prominent on the right-hand side as one would expect. Due to the offensive pressure applied by Monaco, the right-back had to remain alert defensively. It restricted his forays down the flank, leading to a bit less creativity from the PSG man.
Marquinhos was a vital cog in the PSG backline. His experience and leadership were essential in guiding his team in keeping Monaco at bay. The Brazilian did not disappoint at all, looking strong in his challenges and denying the opposition the opportunity to test Donnarumma from close range.
Abdou Diallo: 6.5/10
Abdou Diallo offered decent support for Marquinhos at the heart of the PSG backline. The Frenchman did look nervy, at times, but his defensive contribution was enough to hand his team a clean sheet.
Juan Bernat: 6/10
Juan Bernat did not have the best of games on the left flank, as he was barely involved in the team’s build-up play. He did not make any marauding runs forward either while his night was cut short by an injury that forced him off in the second half.
Georginio Wijnaldum: 5/10
Staring ahead of Ander Herrera and Leandro Paredes, it was an underwhelming performance from the ex-Liverpool midfielder. He lacked ideas in possession and was not a reliable option for his teammates, especially in ball rotation or link-up play in the final third.
Seulement 13 touches de balles pour Wijnaldum en 60 min alors que c’est censé être un milieu terrain??? (Donnarumma a touché + de ballon que lui) pic.twitter.com/YbbQ0rrBSD
— lewØn 🇺🇸👽 (@lewonv4) December 12, 2021
Marco Verratti: 6/10
Marco Verratti was a bit more creative than his midfield partner. But he, too, did not offer enough to help PSG dominate or control the game. In fact, the Italian looked clumsy on multiple occasions, allowing the opposition to keep the ball and even launch quick counter-attacks.
Idrissa Gueye: 6.5/10
Idrissa Gueye was certainly the pick of the PSG midfielders in the win over Monaco. The former Everton star was much more secure in possession and looked to play the ball forward as soon as he received possession. Such a positive attitude made him a standout in midfield, although he simply was not aided by his partners.
Angel Di Maria: 7/10
Angel Di Maria made a promising start to the game, as ever. His creativity and clever turns deceived the Monaco defenders on a few occasions, even leading to chances, including the one where he won the early penalty. However, the Argentine’s influence faded as the game progressed, which has been an issue for a long time now.
Lionel Messi: 6.5/10
Lionel Messi had a mixed game against AS Monaco. He was one of the creators-in-chief for the PSG side that struggled to control the game due to the poor performance of the midfielders.
THE GOAT MESSI WITH AN INTERCEPTION AND RUN AND ASSIST TO MBAPPE 🤩🤩🤩pic.twitter.com/JDT6PLLLnQ
— Ziad is back in pain (@Ziad_EJ) December 12, 2021
The Argentine even set up Mbappe for the second goal, but he did very little on his own to trouble Alexander Nubel in the Monaco goal. Indeed, the attacker looked very wasteful in the final third, and most of his efforts on goal were underwhelming. Messi’s tally in Ligue 1 remains at just one goal in ten appearances.
Kylian Mbappe: 8.5/10
Kylian Mbappe was by far the biggest and the most consistent threat for the Monaco defence throughout the evening. His lethal pace coupled with his ability to deceive defenders and test goalkeepers helped out PSG in their counter-attacking approach. Not to mention, the Frenchman scored two crucial goals, which will surely boost his confidence.
Kylian Mbappé scores his 100th Ligue 1 goal for PSG.
Still only 22 😤 pic.twitter.com/i6ajplrEeb
— B/R Football (@brfootball) December 12, 2021
Thilo Kehrer: 6/10
Thilo Kehrer replaced the injured Bernat just before the hour mark. The German kept things tidy at the back although he had to remain alert against the pressure from Monaco.
Ander Herrera: N/A
A late replacement for Di Maria. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Leandro Paredes: N/A
A late replacement for Gueye. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Mauro Icardi: N/A
A late replacement for Mbappe. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.