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Analysis: Ben Yedder’s brilliant brace powers AS Monaco to victory vs. Toulouse

While he’s no longer a guaranteed starter for AS Monaco, Wissam Ben Yedder’s still a real game-changer for Adi Hutter’s side, which he illustrated resoundingly by bagging a brace against Toulouse to power his team to a come-from-behind 1-2 victory.

Handed a rare start by ASM’s Austrian manager, the little genius shone alongside star summer recruit, Folarin Balogun, in what was just his 11th deployment from the outset as his clinically taken goals proved the difference for the visitors.

Wicked volleyed finish for his opener
Superbly taken penalty for his second goal

“Wissam played and scored a lot of goals here in Toulouse. I played him because he deserved it, but also because I wanted to play with two number 10s and two forwards, which was very risky, but I accepted that. I’m happy in the end to have made this choice and that Wissam scored a double, because he deserves it once again,” Hutter explained.

“It’s sometimes difficult to choose between these two top strikers. We played very well in the first half in this system, so I’m satisfied.”

Grasping his opportunities with both hands against one of his former teams, where he enjoyed huge success, the 33-year-old’s contribution was tremendous.

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Underlining his class and that he well and truly still has it, it was great to see the experienced veteran operating with such clarity, precision and intelligence.

Beginning with his crafty movement, this aspect of his arsenal caused persistent headaches for Toulouse, for his awareness, scanning and timing was a joy to watch.

So clever at choosing when to drop deep with his back to goal between the lines to link play and to generate advantageous overloads in midfield, Les Violets struggled to contain him. It was also notable when checking towards the ball how well he adjusted his receiving posture to protect the ball and exhibited his elite ball control and first touch, plus used his low centre of gravity, immense strength and terrific balance, to thrive in these instances.

Smartly dropping deep to link play and form a 3v2 in midfield
Finding space between the lines

The way he dovetailed smartly with fellow frontman in Balogun was impressive too, for he’d get within close proximity to receive lay offs in a forward facing body shape to immediately inject dynamism into attacks and interchange with the American international to cause extra conundrums.

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Ben Yedder supporting Balogun nicely

Working in tandem to pin and occupy markers to manufacture spaces for colleagues and one another to exploit, they did so effectively to manipulate and disrupt Toulouse’s stopping plans.

Pinning his marker to create room for Golovin’s run
Ben Yedder pinning his tracker to make space for Golovin

Instinctively embarking on his customarily dangerous runs into the box and in behind to ensure he was often in the right place at the right time – just like for his opener and ASM’s second too – Ben Yedder’s timing to either hold his runs, charge into spaces at either post or centrally or evade trackers were additional keys to his success.

Great run into the box ahead of Balogun winning the penalty
Nifty run in behind
Slick run in behind before setting up a chance

Reading the play and processing situations so coherently, there were many cases where the aforementioned allowed him to be dangerous even if Aleksandr Golovin’s unfortunate 51st minute red card saw his impact diminish in the second stanza.

While he wasn’t in peak form in possession, much upside could still be extracted from some of his mazy dribbles, ability to weave away from danger in close quarters, measured passes to spread the play and tidy through balls to oblige runners.

Excellent through ball in behind

Fulfilling his role on the defensive end admirably as well, his pressing was on point to block passing lanes using his cover shadow, push Toulouse towards the touchline and help his team force turnovers in good areas to attack again.

By the numbers, his five touches inside the box, five accurate passes into the final third, three accurate long passes, three fouls suffered, two dribbles, two goals from his two shots, 20 accurate passes and six successful defensive actions demonstrated his solid night at the office.

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Ben Yedder’s Heat Map vs. Toulouse

Proving a real difference maker throughout his decisive, man of the match performance that deservedly earned him a place in the famed L’Equipe team of the matchday, this was a fitting recognition for his outstanding outing.

Not only has he now scored three in his last three and moved into second on the Ligue 1 scoring charts, but the diminutive maestro also notched his 250th career goal when he slotted his penalty.

Proving age is just a number and what a valuable weapon he is for Hutter both when starting or coming off the bench, Ben Yedder yet again highlighted his worth emphatically for Monaco.

Boasting such a unique skill set, which is spearheaded by his exceptional finishing, expect him to continue stamping his mark and flexing his muscles for Les Monegasques in their push for Champions League qualification.

He’s just that good.