AS Monaco 3-1 Paris Saint-Germain
PSG arrived in the principality without the injured Kylian Mbappé, Lionel Messi, Marco Verratti, Renato Sanches and Nordi Mukiele. That was before a stomach bug ripped through the squad on the morning of the game, and coach Christophe Galtier sent out a side featuring youngsters Timothée Pembélé and El Chadaille Bitshiabu in defence, as well as Warren Zaïre-Emery in midfield.
Monaco sensed that their visitors were there for the taking and they went in front inside four minutes when persistent play by Ben Yedder led to the ball breaking to Aleksandr Golovin to score from the edge of the six-yard area. It was 2-0 in the 18th minute as PSG’s teenage centre-back Bitshiabu was tackled on the edge of his own box by Krépin Diatta and the ball broke to Ben Yedder to fire low into the far corner.
The visitors then needed Gianluigi Donnarumma to make the first of several vital interventions as he kept out a net-bound effort by Rubén Águilar and the Parisians pulled one back when Juán Bernat’s low ball across goal was turned in by 16-year-old prospect Zaïre-Emery (39’).
Donnarumma in fine form
Yet that was not the end of the drama in the first half as Donnarumma saved superbly from Golovin before being beaten again by Ben Yedder in stoppage time before the interval (45+2’).
Sergio Ramos, Achraf Hakimi and Presnel Kimpembe all came off the bench after the restart for the Ligue 1 Uber Eats leaders but they rarely looked like getting back into the game and only more fine saves from Donnarumma – from Breel Embolo in the 83rd minute and Takumi Minamino in injury time – prevented PSG losing by a bigger margin.
This was their second defeat in four days after their Coupe de France exit in Marseille and they have now lost three times in seven Ligue 1 matches in 2023. They remain well clear at the top of the tabe but Galtier has plenty to ponder ahead of Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League last 16, first leg against Bayern Munich on Tuesday. Monaco, in contrast, head into their Europa League play-off first leg against Bayer Leverkusen in fine shape having gone eight games unbeaten in Ligue 1 since the World Cup.
THE PLAYER: Wissam Ben Yedder
Ben Yedder played the captain’s role superbly, leading from the front as he set up the opening goal for Monaco and then scored two himself, taking his tally for the season to 19 goals in all competitions.
THE STAT: 33
Monaco have now scored at least once in each of their last 33 Ligue 1 games. PSG hold the record in this regard, netting in 44 straight matches in 2019.