While Aurelien Tchouameni rightfully drew the plaudits following his sparkling, match winning display in AS Monaco’s 2-1 win vs. Lille, another man whose performance warranted praise was Benoit Badiashile.
Holding his own at the back and handling the threat of Lille’s dangerous frontline, his commanding display was vital towards Monaco winning their eighth straight match.
Playing with great confidence and consistency of late, the man who’s started the last 10 games for Monaco continued his solid run, on a night where the 21-year-old showed fantastic maturity, discipline and composure.
Assured and authoritative when executing his defensive actions, the 21-year-old hardly put a foot wrong. Making coherent decisions when to step up, drop back, shift across, support a teammate and move to keep compact distances between his defensive partners, Badiashile showed terrific judgement.
Getting the little things spot on like covering behind Guillermo Maripan when he stepped out and being alert to provide support to help a teammate deal with a marking assignment, his awareness and positional sense were real highlights within Monaco’s strong collective output.
Meanwhile, in his individual duels, the Frenchman was just as impressive, for he was attentive to when his marker dropped deep, motored into the box or surged in behind. Reading the play smartly and wanting to get as touchtight as possible from his powerful, crouched, side on stance, this saw him manage threats effectively.
Boasting good pace to race across the turf using his long strides, this not only helped him follow runners short and in behind, but also to chime in with vital interventions.
Timing his tackles soundly to regain possession cleanly, he successfully broke up many an attack due to his quick reaction times, scanning of his blindside, concentration and powers of anticipation.
Aerially dominant and relishing these battles too, the way he timed his leap, picked up the ball’s trajectory rapidly and kept tabs on his man ensured he cut out many crosses into the area and won vital second balls for his team following opposition clearances and goal kicks.
By the numbers, the fact he won nine of his 13 duels and seven of his nine aerial duels, plus completed 20 ball recoveries, nine interceptions and four clearances, illustrated his tremendous stopping exploits.
Showcasing his class in possession too, there was much to admire about his efforts here. Considered and thoughtful in his pass selection, he sharply identified when to play it safe and recycle possession or when to go for the more ambitious option.
As a result, the man who remained typically calm under pressure struck some wonderful progressive passes to break the lines, switch the play and to get the ball into the feet of Monaco’s attackers. Indeed, his aptitude here was demonstrated by the statistics that state he completed 43 of his 46 attempted overall passes, four of four long passes and three of three passes into the final third.
Also elegant with his ball carrying to gain territory and to draw out opponents to open passing lanes, this added some impetus when Monaco were looking to establish possession.
Moreover, his movement in build up saw him help create passing angles and overloads to help his team bypass the press.
Producing the goods yet again and improving all the time, there’s no doubting he’s been a key element towards Les Monegasques scintillating recent form, which has them only concede eight goals in their last 10 matches.
With just two games left and Monaco desperate to finish in the top three to obtain a Champions League qualification place, Badiashile recently spoke of his desire to achieve this aim with the club he’s risen through the ranks at.
Happy under Philippe Clement’s guidance and operating at an extremely high level at present, it’ll little wonder he’s attracting interest from a host of European football’s elite teams.
But all that talk will have to wait until the end of the season, for his sole focus is on ensuring Monaco end the season in style and give themselves every chance of securing a coveted podium position.