Player ratings as Ben Yedder brace sinks understrength champions

Monaco extended their unbeaten run to eight league matches with a convincing 3-1 victory over a weakened and woeful Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday afternoon.

With a heavyweight Champions League tie to come against Bayern Munich on Tuesday, PSG lined up with an eclectic starting XI. Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi were injured but Christophe Galtier opted to start three first-choice defenders on the bench.

Youssouf Fofana received a throw-in on the right flank behind Juan Bernat, Nuno Mendes’ replacement, before flicking it over the head of El Chadaille Bitshiabu, the 17-year-old understudy to Sergio Ramos. Fofana sent the ball pinballing off Marquinhos and Wissam Ben Yedder before Aleksandr Golovin took charge, tucking the untamed ball into the bottom corner in the fourth minute as Achraf Hakimi glumly watched from the sidelines.

Bitshiabu’s afternoon swiftly spiralled into a nightmarish realm. The teenager had his pocket picked by Krepin Diatta, toeing the ball to Ben Yedder inside PSG’s box. Gianluigi Donnarumma had pawed away a close-range header from Ruben Aguilar moments before but was helpless as Ben Yedder rattled Monaco’s second of the afternoon into the far corner from a tight angle.

Galtier reacted by scrapping his 3-5-2 formation within 20 minutes of kickoff, sending Danilo Pereira out of the backline and into midfield. Despite nominally starting deeper after the restart, Bernat continued to scurry forward from fullback, combining with Carlos Soler before firing the ball across the box for an unmarked Warren Zaire-Emery at the back post.

The wings of PSG’s resurgence were clipped before halftime as their rejigged rearguard was utterly scrambled.

Marquinhos was caught chasing the ball upfield, Bitshiabu was looking for a hole in the ground to swallow him up and Bernat was left in a heap as Ben Yedder pirouetted towards goal, clattering the ball off the inside of the post to restore Monaco’s two-goal advantage.

Ramos was drafted in at halftime to steady the ship but the damage had been done. A combination of Donnarumma’s heroics and dumb luck ensured PSG only lost 3-1 against a royally in-form Monaco side which warranted a larger margin of victory.

The hosts prepared for a European tie of their own – against Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League – by taking their points tally to a league-high 17 in 2023. PSG, by comparison, suffered their fourth loss of the year and their second of the week after fierce rivals Marseille dumped them out of the Coupe de France on Wednesday, piling more and more pressure onto the upcoming Champions League round of 16 tie.


PSG have conceded at least three goals in each of their last three visits to Monaco’s Stade Louis II stadium / VALERY HACHE/GettyImages

GK: Gianluigi Donnarumma – 7/10 – The burly, bearded Italian was left beleaguered by the calamities of his teammates. Though the finger of incompetence couldn’t be pointed his way.

CB: Danilo Pereira – 5/10 – The little time he spent in defence was not successful. More comfortable in midfield.

CB: Marquinhos – 3/10 – At the heart of a shambolic defence, PSG’s skipper has to take the brunt of the considerable backlash bound to crash his way.

CB: El Chadaille Bitshiabu – 2/10 – Endured a truly ruinous outing which was mercifully concluded at the half-time interval.

RWB: Timothe Pembele – 5/10 – The best of a bad bunch at the back in a display which provides a potent reminder that everything is relative.

CM: Warren Zaire-Emery – 5/10 – In the right place at the right time to score his goal but scarcely involved anywhere else at any time either side of his tap-in.

CM: Vitinha – 4/10 – Swarmed and swamped in a midfield which really missed the absent Marco Verratti.

CM: Carlos Soler – 5/10 – Spluttered into life in the attacking third.

LWB: Juan Bernat – 3/10 – Got forward well but not enough to make up for his calamitous attempts at defending.

ST: Hugo Ekitike – 3/10 – Genuinely a challenge to remember the striker was on the pitch.

ST: Neymar – 4/10 – Starved of the ball as he laboured without two members of PSG’s glitzy front three.


Sergio Ramos (46′ for Bitshiabu) – 6/10 – Provided more security with a typically proactive approach.

Ismael Gharbi (59′ for Danilo) – 5/10

Achraf Hakimi (66′ for Pembele) – 3/10 – Did little aside from collecting a suspension-inducing yellow card.

Presnel Kimpembe (80′ for Vitinha) – N/A

Ilyes Housni (80′ for Ekitike) – N/A


Christophe Galtier – 2/10 – Robbed of numerous first-team players but still equipped with enough talent to construct a lineup which didn’t implode. Galtier desperately needs to find a way to stop his team from being so susceptible to the press. Fortunately, Bayern aren’t famously aggressive off the ball, oh wait…

Player of the match – Wissam Ben Yedder (Monaco)