a masterful Wirtz, a disappointing Clément
Florian Wirtz decisive, the choices of Philippe Clément surprised. Panoramic TOPS/FLOPS – Monaco is officially…
Florian Wirtz decisive, the choices of Philippe Clément surprised. Panoramic
TOPS/FLOPS – Monaco is officially eliminated in the Europa League play-off after their loss (2-3, 3-5 on pens) against Bayer Leverkusen on penalties. Here are our highs and lows.
Wirtz at the heart of a magic triangle
Victim of a rupture of the cruciate ligaments of the knee a year ago, Florian Wirtz has more than ever regained his excellent level and his performance this evening is the absolute proof. Author of the opener by standing out perfectly in front of Nübel (13th), he is then decisive passer on the third goal by brushing a perfect cross on the head of the Frenchman Amine Adli (58th). He ends the meeting with 87% of successful passes and half of his duels won. The young German prodigy perfectly embodied the attacking leader of this team with the two other strong men of the evening Exequiel Palacios and Amine Adli who assisted Wirtz wonderfully. Their performances offered an additional offensive weapon for creation and finishing. An efficient, realistic and regular triangle.
Bayer’s Dutch Corridors
The strategy paid off on the side of Leverkusen. Indeed, Xabi Alonso’s men pressed where it hurt in Monaco, namely the wings and the corridors. The two Dutch side of Bayer, Mitchel Bakker and Jeremie Frimpong, made a very good offensive copy by chaining overflows, crosses and breakthroughs. More than once they were involved in the offensive actions of their team and the former Parisian almost scored a goal but the Spanish referee Mr. Alejandro Hernandez indicated him offside (63rd). As for Frimpong, he offers the first goal to Wirtz with a strong low center (13th).
Embolo as a savior
Coming into play late, Breel Embolo quickly put on the hero’s costume for Monaco. If the Monegasques finally fell, they can still thank the Swiss striker who offered extra time thanks to a beautiful header taken in force (84th). First action, first goal. His physical impact and his athletic dimension allowed Monaco to finally take dominance in the game. He also managed his shot on goal during the session.
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The Monegasque attacking team
For too long, the Monegasques have lacked real offensive assets to animate their collective. Apart from the front duo made up of Wissam Ben Yedder and the young Eliesse Ben Seghir, who were able to combine together cleanly and quickly, the rest of the offensive sector left something to be desired, starting with Aleksandr Golovin and Krépin Diatta. The two Monegasque pistons were either discreet or failed. Too much waste and technical errors prevented a real offensive animation. The axis was not at best either with a Mohamed Camara in difficulty on the recovery and a Youssouf Fofana a bit too irregular despite good passages and sequences which saved the honor.
Nübel can do better
If he did not make any big mistakes, he still lacked serenity. In a match where Monaco seemed to be dominated on several occasions, the German goalkeeper could have reassured his defenders but no. On the opener from Wirtz (13th), he missed his exit, hesitated too much and plunged into the void at the near post, thus letting Frimpong’s cross pass. A glaring lack of anticipation which allowed Wirtz to find himself alone in front of the cages to push her to the bottom. On Bayern’s second goal, he was out of the way of Exequiel Palacios’ shot. If the Argentinian’s attempt is pretty, it does not seem unstoppable to the point of diving late either.
Clément’s choices raise questions
But why Breel Embolo only returned in the 78th minute? This is the question that has tormented the minds of all Monegasque supporters about Philippe Clément’s tactical decisions. Another mystery of the Belgian tactician, the entry of young Edan Diop, aged only 18, who celebrated his first appearance with the pros, surprised many, starting with the players themselves. Making him enter in the 61st minute, thus toasting your first change for him, still raises certain questions. Youssouf Fofana waved his arms, demanding new instructions from his coach. The back-to-back outings of Ben Yedder and Ben Seghir, the only starting attacking assets in form tonight on the Monaco side, weren’t inspired decisions either. Changing the device to keep the duo with a fresh Embolo might have been less risky. Myron Boadu and Eliot Matazo did not have the expected impact when they entered the lawn, while Kevin Volland missed the lead in victory, a sequence where he could have done better.