AS Monaco App 12 February 2024, 11:55

With a double, Denis Zakaria is your MVP of the Derby against Nice

With a double, Denis Zakaria is your MVP of the Derby against Nice
Auteur d’un fantastique doublé, le milieu suisse de l’AS Monaco a été l’un des hommes forts du succès obtenu dans le Derby face à Nice (2-3). Il est donc logiquement élu MVP de cette partie et membre de l'Équipe type de la journée.

“It’s a Derby, it’s not played, it’s won.” It is with these words that Denis Zakaria had answered the first question from journalists the day before at a press conference. And the least we can say is that the Swiss midfielder made good on this speech on the pitch of the Allianz Riviera, during a crazy win in the Derby against Nice (2-3), by scoring a double.

An open goal to open the scoring

Starting in a three-man midfield with Mohamed Camara and Youssouf Fofana, the Monegasque number 6 first got the ball rolling at the end of the first quarter of an hour. Found in space almost 30 meters from goal, he was not closed down by the opposing defense, which was slow to come out to him, and he had time to measure a strike from the right. This powerful shot, then found the goal of a totally helpless Marcin Bulka, who could only see the damage as he conceded a first goal from outside the box this season.

The first double of his career

Allowing his team to open the scoring, “Zak'” would then put them in front again shortly after the restart, finishing a pass from Takumi Minamino with a header. Perfectly crossed, he found corner of the Nice goalkeeper’s net. It was hi ssecond headed goal this season in an area which is not his strong point, says his coach Adi Hütter. “I hope he doesn’t keep saying that, said Denis in the mixed zone, with a laugh on his face. I will work to score some more goals.”

Very valuable defensively

Scorer of his first career double in all competitions, the Swiss international (52 caps) therefore chose the right time to do ti. “It’s great to score a double, especially in a Derby, it’s magnificent!”, he continued to the journalists.

You know that we have a pretty special relationship with Denis, since we have been at three clubs together. I knew him when he started at Young Boys in Bern at 18, then in Monchengladbach and now here in Monaco. He is a great player with a lot of experience. He scored two fantastic goals, and I think he can be an important leader in the future.
Adi HütterOn Denis Zakaria after the match

Imperious offensively, he was also very important in the midfield, with six recoveries,  two successful tackles, three defensive clearances, also not hesitating to go head to head with Guessand at the end of the match, in order to show his desire and his anger to all his teammates.

An MVP and a place in l’Équipe’s team of the round

It is therefore completely normal and logical to see him win the MVP title for the first time this season with 89% of the votes. He finished well ahead of the other scorer of the evening Aleksandr Golovin (7%).

It was a reward which came in addition to a mark of 9 obtained in the newspaper L’Équipe – the best mark received by a player this week – which earns him a place in their Team of the Matchday for the second time in 2023-2024, the first being on the occasion of the 11th round against Brest. Daghe Zak’ ! 👏

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🏆 MVP 2023-2024 Recap

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