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Analysis: Assured Maripan helps propel AS Monaco to victory

While Guillermo Maripan didn’t draw the headlines following AS Monaco’s hard-fought 1-0 win over Brest, the Chilean stopper’s accomplished display was undoubtedly a key aspect towards them claiming all three points.

Resuming his post in central defence for this clash, Maripan hardly put a foot wrong alongside Axel Disasi, with him undertaking his duties with a nice blend of brains and brawn on his way helping ASM keep a vital clean sheet.

Physical, forceful and executing his actions with authority, the imposing defender’s aggression in the challenge when needed ensured he imposed himself effectively on his opponents and on the match. 

Eager to get touchtight to his opponents, never afraid of a confrontation, smartly using his arms to unbalance markers and assertive in his duels both on the ground and in the air, he rarely gave his foes much room to make headway against him.

As a result, he chimed in with a slew of valuable interventions to break up play to help his team recover possession so they could gather second balls and hit Brest on the counter.

Reading the play coherently, timing his leaps and picking up the ball’s trajectory rapidly, his aerial prowess shone particularly brightly, as his aptitude here played a major role in him not only clearing danger from deliveries into the box but also when winning headers following goal kicks and clearances so ASM could regain the ball in midfield.

While he came up trumps on many occasions with his aerial skills, it was important to note that he held his own in terms in his ground duels too, with him typically making excellent decisions from his strong base posture to stifle many a Brest attack.

Moreover, Maripan’s awareness and judgement saw him choose his moments shrewdly when to push up, apply pressure, drop back, shift across, track a runner in behind or into the box or cover for a teammate, in a match where he rarely missed a beat.

So awake to threats and always adjusting his position depending on the situation, there was much to admire about his polished defensive work that also saw him shut down intimidating Brest hitman Islam Slimani.

Meanwhile, when it came to his output in possession, he certainly held his own in this compartment too.

Passing the ball with clarity and assuredness, the experienced destroyer did an exemplary job of switching the angle of attacks, recycling possession while waiting for a weakness in the opposition block to arise and striking some eye-catching progressive passes.

To focus on the latter, and the way he hit some sublime penetrative line breaking passes into the forwards, launched some wicked switches of play and played some wonderful through balls in behind amplified his menace. Although it must be said he was granted far too much time to weigh up his options by the passive Brest press, he nonetheless still deserves credit for taking advantage of this.

By the numbers, his 11 ball recoveries, five won ground duels, four clearances, three won aerial duels, three accurate long balls, 10 passes into the final third and 51 overall completed passes accentuated his quality effort.

Contributing admirably on both sides of the ball and yet again underlining why he’s a trusted lieutenant of Philippe Clement, Maripan displayed why he’s such an important figure for Monaco in all phases of the game. 

A real leader out there on the pitch and so crucial in setting the tone for his colleagues to follow, the 192 cm colossus, who’s such a commanding presence, is set to become even more pivotal with Benoit Badiashile reportedly on the verge of departing for Chelsea.

Unflappable, mentally formidable and ready to step up when called upon, you can guarantee Maripan will keep doing everything in his power to help his team regardless of what happens, as his relentless yet refined approach usually serves him and his team brilliantly. 

Just like it did against Brest in a match that was ultimately decided by the finest of margins.