AS Monaco – Match Report vs Stade de Reims 29/02/20

AS Monaco and Stade de Reims shared the spoils following a 1-1 draw at the Stade Louis II. Both teams had good opportunities and were not afraid to have a pop at goal, with 35 shots being attempted in the entirety of the match. Monaco took the lead after a controversial penalty decision which ended in Ben Yedder converting from the spot, but Reims were able to draw level thanks to a second half strike from Kamara who caught the keeper out of position to fire home at the near post. Monaco saw the majority of the ball whilst Reims looked to play more on the counter, using the pace and skill of their forwards. Rajkovic had to make some impressive saves in goal for Reims to deny Monaco the three points, especially late on where he made two stops in particular when it seemed inevitable that the ball would hit the back of the net.

Monaco set up in an asymmetrical 4-4-2 system, that saw Golovin tuck in to play almost as another central midfielder whilst Henrichs was tasked with providing the width down the right hand side from full back. Ballo-Toure looked to get forward at every opportunity from left back and Slimani and Ben Yedder seemed to form a fairly effective strike partnership, that at times caused problems for the Reims defence. Occasionally Monaco seemed to lack creativity through midfield areas, with Bakayoko and Fofana failing to make many progressive passes for periods, but overall they will feel they should have walked away with all three points.

Ratings

  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average in this match

Benoit Badiashile

Player profile:

  • Nationality: French
  • Age: 19
  • Date of birth: 26/03/2001
  • Current Club: AS Monaco
  • Career: Limoges (Y), SC Malesherbes (Y), AS Monaco
  • Position: Central Defender
  • Preferred foot: Left

Benoit Badiashile looked solid defensively and comfortable in possession in what was a good all round display from the Frenchman. When his team were on the back foot he rarely seemed flustered and showed good awareness to make some important blocks, clearances and interceptions to keep the Reims attack at bay for periods.

The 6’4 central defender has a strong build as well as a good turn of pace which makes him perfectly equipped to physically compete and dominate the opposition forwards. He used this height well to win several aerial duels in both defensive and attacking situations and used his strength effectively at times to ease his opponent off the ball. On one or two occasions, his defensive decision making let him down when he overcommitted to try and win back possession, leaving space in behind him, and he was also caught out by a pass in behind at one stage but used his pace to recover well.

The 19 year old saw a lot of the ball, having the most touches and making the most passes out of any player on the pitch, and he found his teammates with a good level of accuracy (87% completion rate). He was not afraid to step out of the defensive line with the ball at his feet and was comfortabe with passing forward although he went sideways at times in order to retain possession. He did hit a couple of loose passes when trying to be very progressive and play longer balls and could improve upon his decision making at times but on the whole he provided a solid platform from which to build attacks.

Badiashile put on a well rounded display that pointed towards a bright future, with the main area for improvement being the occasional decision making error.

Rating: A1

Fode Ballo-Toure

Player profile:

  • Nationality: French
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 03/01/1997
  • Current Club: AS Monaco
  • Career: PSG (Y), Lille, AS Monaco
  • Position: Left Back
  • Secondary Position: Left Wing Back / Left Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Left

Ballo-Toure showed some real attacking quality and potential at times in this match but was let down by some errors in judgement and defensive frailties. He provided an effective attacking outlet down the left hand side, making overlapping runs or driving with the ball at his feet. He showed a good burst of acceleration and close control to beat defenders and cause problems down the left hand side, and timed his off the ball runs well to get into threatening positions in wide areas. Once in a position to deliver a cross, the Frenchman had some joy, putting the ball into dangerous zones at times, but he was also guilty of overhitting several of his deliveries despite having time and space. He linked up neatly with his teammates to create space out wide and used his body smartly to shield the ball.

Ballo-Toure primarily encountered problems in defensive situations. At 5’10 and with an average build, he is capable of competing physically but seemed to lack awareness during this match. His body position was too square to his opponent, meaning that he was beaten by a change in direction on several occasions, or he backed off too far and allowed the attacker to cut inside or drive at him. This resulted in him committing a couple of needless fouls which put his team on the back foot. His awareness was an issue at times as he lost his man when trying to mark at the back post and allowed himself to be pinned by the forward when the ball was launched towards them. He did use his pace well to make recovery runs or cover for teammates but on the whole rarely looked comfortable in the defensive third.

The 23 year old offered plenty going forward and looked composed in possession, but struggled in some defensive situations. I would be interested to see Ballo-Toure as a wing-back, where he would have more freedom to go forward and a teammate to provide additional defensive cover.

Rating: B1

Benjamin Henrichs

Player profile:

  • Nationality: German
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 23/02/1997
  • Current Club: AS Monaco
  • Career: Bayer Leverkusen, AS Monaco
  • Position: Right Back
  • Secondary Position: Left Back / Central Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Henrichs looked an exciting player in possession but, similarly to Ballo-Toure, his defensive performance let him down at times in this game. he made some good penetrating runs down the right hand side and showed a good level of skill and close control to beat his man or turn into space. He timed his runs forward well and looked to get balls into the box for the likes of Slimani to attack, however his final balls varied in quality, some finding dangerous areas whilst others managed to evade everyone in the box.

The 23 year old was tasked with providing most of the width on the right, with Golovin ahead of him drifting into more central areas, and he was more than willing to fly forward when given the chance. Henrichs linked up effectively with his teammates in tight areas and made a couple of dangerous cut backs from the by-line. From deeper areas he was often able to accurately pick out passes into the forwards but also allowed a couple to go astray needlessly.

Henrichs struggled with his decisiveness in defensive situations. He allowed the ball to bounce over his head early on that lead to the opposition nearly going through on goal and despite being six foot he seemed to struggle in aerial duels and failed to time his leaps. His marking also left room for improvement, losing his man at the back post at times. However, he was sharp and agressive in the tackle and was able to make four successful tackles and read the play well to make three interceptions in the match – demonstrating his positive defensive contribution to the team.

Henrichs did well to provide width for his team and made some effective inroads into the Reims defence and despite showing some defensive frailties he was also able to have a positive impact when out of possession.

Rating: B1

Youssouf Fofana

Player profile:

  • Nationality: French
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 10/01/1999
  • Current Club: AS Monaco
  • Career: JA Drancy (Y), RC Strasbourg, AS Monaco
  • Position: Central Midfield
  • Secondary Position: Defensive Midfield / Right Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Fofana put on a mixed display in central midfield, showing glimpses of quality but also seeming to have some areas that required improvement. He was confident in possession and demonstrated good close control to turn in midfield or drive with the ball at his feet. He also made some impressive passes to put his team on the front foot, break the lines or switch the play.

Fofana was happy to try and play through the Reims midfield and was rarely phased when under pressure, even making some runs beyond the forwards to penetrate the defence. However, perhaps some naivety shone through at times as he gave the ball away in dangerous areas that left his team exposed to the counter attack. He did hit some loose passes and let a few touches get away from him that lead to a loss in possession and this hindered his overall performance.

Defensively, Fofana had quite a busy game, managing to make four tackles but also allowing himself to be beaten four times, again displaying some naivety to overcommit in bad areas. The tackles he did make were clean and strong, and he used his powerful build to ease off opponents and his fairly low centre of gravity to get between man and ball. I thought he could have been more proactive when tracking back and shown more of a reaction when he lost the ball to try and win it back.

Overall, the 21 year old seemed very confident on the ball and showed some good qualities in defensive duels, yet he also highlighted areas in which he could improve further as he develops.

Rating: B2

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