Amiens SC – Match Report vs AS Monaco 08/02/20

Despite fighting incredibly hard for the win and taking the lead in the first half, Amiens suffered last minute heartbreak as they conceded an equaliser on the 85th minute and then their misery was compounded by a 92nd minute Monaco winner thanks to Islam Slimani. Amiens started brightly and looked the more threatening of the two teams for long periods of the match after taking the lead in the opening 10 minutes and, despite having the majority of possession, Monaco seemed to be struggling to break down the relegation threatened Amiens side. However, the introduction of Slimani changed Monaco’s attacking dynamic, the Algerian striker flicked on for Ben Yedder to slot home the equaliser before finding the back of the net with a header from a corner in added time.

Amiens set up in a 4-2-3-1 system and looked to take the game to Monaco especially in the early stages, pressing high up the pitch and causing the opposition defence problems. They were worthy of their lead at the half time whistle, with their front four having looked threatening. At times they linked up well and played some fluid football but they were unable to put the game to bed and began to sit slightly deeper as the game progressed and the players tired. The two goals they conceded were very simple and resulted from lost aerial battles which they will be disappointed with having played well for most of the match. Amiens will feel they did enough to at least warrant a point and so will have been devastated with the manner of their defeat.

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

Serhou Guirassy

Player profile:

  • Nationality: French
  • Age: 24
  • Date of birth: 12/03/1996
  • Current Club: Amiens SC
  • Career: Laval, Lille, Auxerre (L), FC Köln, Amiens SC
  • Position: Striker
  • Secondary Position: Left Wing
  • Preferred foot: Right

Playing as the lone striker for Amiens, Serhou Guirassy was arguably the best player on the pitch in this match, leading the line incredibly well for his side as well as finding the back of the net. The 6’2 striker has a sturdy build and a good turn of pace, making him a real physical asset for his side, and he used these attributes impressively to hold up the play and threaten in the final third.

His hold up play was excellent and took pressure off his team whilst also bringing other players into the attack. He positioned his body intelligently to try and pin the defenders and his first touch consistently allowed him to bring the ball under his spell and find a teammate.

Another part of his game that makes him dangerous is that he is capable of using his pace to make runs into the channels as well as acting as a target man – this caused issues for the defenders as they didn’t want to stick too tight in case he spun in behind them, but they didn’t want to stand too far off and allow him to control the ball. The striker was also effective aerially and won 6 attacking aerial duels to flick on long balls for the wingers to run on to – I felt he was perhaps harshly penalised on a few occasions for merely standing his ground as the ball came towards him.

Guirassy’s link up play was effective and allowed the front four to create space in the final third. Despite being large in stature, he displayed good levels of skill to make flicks and disguise passes to teammates. Once he had played a pass or laid the ball off to a teammate, he immediately looked to spin in behind the defence to receive a return pass. His goal was a product of effective pressing by Amiens as they won the ball high up and it found it’s way to the 24 year old who showed good composure to pick his spot and curl the finish around the defender and into the top corner.

He did have a couple of other openings in the game, but looked less confident with them, slicing one well wide from a promising position and then later failing to get a shot off after delaying too long on the ball. In the latter of these situations, it appeared to be the case that he was not confident of taking the shot on with his weaker left foot and so failed to make the most of the opportunity.

The Frenchman worked hard defensively, pressing effectively to close down defenders when they were in possession and forcing mistakes and turnovers in good areas of the pitch. He gave the defenders little time on the ball and tried to cut passing lanes into the midfield. Overall, Guirassy looked a real talent and the most threatening of the Amiens strike force as his team were unfortunate not to take anything away from the game.

Rating: A1

Nicholas Opoku

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Ghanaian
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 11/08/1997
  • Current Club: Udinese
  • Career: Berekum Chelsea, Club Africain, Udinese, Amiens SC (L)
  • Position: Central Defender
  • Preferred foot: Both

Nicholas Opoku looked solid at the back for the majority of the match, but a couple of moments of indecision hindered his overall performance. The central defender showed good awareness and speed to get round on the cover and sweep up any loose balls that threatened to get in behind the defence and he took up good defensive positions that allowed him to either challenge the striker or drop off. The 6’3 defender has a strong build that allows him to be more than capable of winning physical contests and he didn’t seem slow when covering ground.

He won a couple of aerial battles but lost one vitally important one as he permitted Slimani to get in front of him and win the flick on to assist Monaco’s equaliser. One weakness of Opoku’s match was that he was sometimes unable to get close enough to the forwards, either allowing them to control the ball or letting them get a leap on him when challenging for aerial duels. He was perhaps also fortunate not to give away a penalty in the second half as he made a clumsy challenge on the striker only for it to be waved away by the referee.

In possession, Opoku appeared comfortable but unremarkable, making some decent passes into midfield and showing good composure when under pressure. He hit one accurate switch that proved to be effective and was happy to go long to try and find Guirassy, but some of his longer passes ended up going wayward as he finished the match with only a 65% completion rate. Opoku displayed some impressive defensive qualities and good awareness but needs to become more decisive as he develops further based upon this performance.

Rating: A2

Arturo Calabresi

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Italian
  • Age: 24
  • Date of birth: 17/03/1996
  • Current Club: Amiens SC
  • Career: Roma, Livorno (L), Brescia (L), Spezia (L), Foggia (L), Bologna, Amiens SC (L)
  • Position: Central Defender
  • Secondary Position: Left Back / Right Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Calabresi had a mixed performance from right back, showing some frailties in both attack and defence, but also displaying glimpses of quality on occasion. Defensively, he made a couple of important challenges in dangerous areas and at times he stood up to his man well and forced the attacker away from goal.

However, he was inconsistent in his defensive duties, occasionally overcommitting and being beaten by a quick change of direction. When marking the wide player, he was caught ball watching at stages and allowed the forward to get the run on him. Despite standing at 6’1 and with a big frame, Calabresi was also inconsistent in aerial duels, winning 5 and losing 6. He did show some good levels of awareness at times to cover for teammates and make important clearances but on the whole did not look particularly comfortable throughout.

In possession, the Italian failed to really have much of an attacking impact for his team. He misplaced over half of his passes (47% accuracy) and although he did drive with the ball well at times, he lacked any real end product. Overall, it was a very average display from Calabresi who made several mistakes throughout the game.

Rating: C

Alexis Blin

Player profile:

  • Nationality: French
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 16/09/1996
  • Current Club: Amiens SC
  • Career: Le Mans, Toulouse, Amiens SC
  • Position: Defensive Midfield
  • Secondary Position: Central Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Similarly to Calabresi, Blin had an uninspiring match in central midfield. The Frenchman was quite passive in this game and failed to ever really have an impact on proceedings. He made some smart passes but also allowed some to stray wayward of the intended target and overhit passes in promising attacking positions. He rarely dribbled with the ball and failed to show for the ball regularly enough for a central midfield player.

He showed good defensive reading of the game, making some effective interceptions and stepping into tackles well to win back possession but he failed to get close enough to the attacker at times, standing too far off his man when the rest of his team was pressing ahead of him. The six foot midfielder did not seem particularly athletic and lacked any aerial presence. Overall, it was a below par display from Blin in what was a quiet match for the 23 year old.

Rating: C

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