Wissam ben Yedder, Monaco
Match Reports

Ben Yedder Monaco's matchwinner at Angers

Ben Yedder Monaco's matchwinner at Angers

Match Reports
Publish on 04/25 at 19:46 - I. HOLYMAN


Wissam ben Yedder's 18th Ligue 1 Uber Eats goal of the season took Monaco into provisional second place in the table as it earned the principality outfit a 1-0 win at Angers early on Sunday evening. Elsewhere, Nigerian striker Terem Moffi hit a hat-trick as Lorient piled more misery on Bordeaux with a 4-1 win and Martin Terrier struck twice as Rennes relegated Dijon with a 5-1 defeat.


With Paris Saint-Germain having moved ahead of Lille at the top of the table following the champions' win at Metz on Saturday and the northerners not facing Lyon till later on Sunday, Monaco had the opportunity to move into the top two if they could secure a fifth successive league win.


They did so — setting themselves up for next weekend's potentially decisive home game with Lyon — thanks to Ben Yedder, who was not even on the pitch at kick-off as Niko Kovac once again preferred Stevan Jovetic to lead the attack.


The Montenegro international forced a save from Paul Bernardoni after a smart touch and shot (14'), but was forced off through injury shortly after (16'), heralding the arrival of Ben Yedder, surely somewhat earlier than Kovac had planned.


No team had scored more than the principality outfit in the opening 15 minutes of games this season, and had Bernardoni not also turned away a long-range Aurélien Tchouameni effort (10'), Monaco could have very quickly been feeling comfortable at the Stade Raymond Kopa.


Angers were not helped by an injury-enforced change of their own — midfield linchpin Ibrahim Amadou suffering a foot problem in a challenge with Aleksandr Golovin — but Stéphane Moulin's men, who had won just one of their previous 11 league matches, were always going to find life difficult against France's in-form side in 2021.


Ruben Aguilar should have done better than overhit his cross with Kevin Volland unmarked in the middle (30') and Bernardoni again rescued the hosts — this time with an outstretched foot — after Golovin had been played in by Ben Yedder (43').



It was only a touch of fortune that kept the Angers' goalkeeper from picking the ball out of his net when Guillermo Maripan turned a Djibril Sidibé free-kick onto the crossbar (54'). Aguilar then wasted a good shooting opportunity (58') before Ben Yedder showed the difference in finishing between a full-back and a world-class forward.


When Zinedine Ould Khaled turned over possession cheaply, Monaco broke. Youssouf Fofana's through ball was tailormade for Ben Yedder, who confidently chipped his shot beyond Bernardoni to net his fifth goal in his last four league games, a strike that coud leave Monaco in the top two at the end of the matchday for the first time this season.


THE PLAYER: Wissam ben Yedder

The France international striker is worth his weight in goals to Monaco. Though Jovetic has often been preferred in recent games by Kovac, WYB has contributed significantly coming off the bench, and this goal could prove the most valuable yet.



For all their attacking prowess, Monaco's climb up the table has been built on solid foundations: they have now kept eight clean sheets in their last nine league games.


Earlier in the day, Dijon were relegated following a 5-1 defeat at Rennes for whom Martin Terrier scored twice. Nîmes were beaten 2-1 at Lens, who triumphed despite having Issiaga Sylla sent off midway through the first half and moved back into fifth place. Nantes' surprise win at Strasbourg — courtesy of Ludovic Blas' 77th-minute goal — took them above Nîmes into 18th, while Lorient put four points between themselves and the bottom three with a 4-1 defeat of Bordeaux in which Nigerian forward Terem Moffi netted a hat-trick.


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