Crédit Agricole PCA Aiglon of the Match
March 21, 2021
A supreme Thuram in the derby
There are some matches in which all of the team deserves to be rewarded and the derby on Saturday was one of those. In spite of that, after the Nice performance against OM (3-0), a Crédit Agricole PCA Aiglon of the Match had to be nominated and you opted to award that to the first goalscorer of the game, Khephren Thuram with 38% of the vote. The midfielder pipped Amine Gouiri (32%) and Jean-Clair Todibo (13%) to the award.
He was everywhere, even where you least expected him. In the heart of play, against a constantly changing OM side, who switched systems on several occasions, Khephren Thuram shone and dominated the midfield. With his positioning, his effort and his quality with the ball at feet, the young midfielder brought balance to his side and came out on top in the battle of midfield, which is so vital in these high-level matches.
Supported by Schneiderlin and Claude-Maurice, the former Monaco man never hesitated to push forward with the ball and on several occasions, he found his teammates with well-weighted passes. As the 1m92 man drove forward towards the Marseille goal, the U20s international was able to make the difference. In a period of the match where the home side were creating chance after chance, Thuram made the most of his run forward to find Gouiri in the box and opened the scoring. The only Red and Black shirt among a group of six Marseillais, he perfectly rose the highest in the box to connect with his head and bury the ball past Mandanda (34’). A goal - his second of the season - to cap off his incredible performance.
With an assist and a goal, like he had done in the match against Marseille earlier in the season (3-2), Amine Gouiri takes second place in the vote (32%). Proof of his influence and availability throughout the derby, the French youth international was the Aiglon with the second highest number of touches of the ball (64). With four efforts on goal, he is also (with Claude-Maurice) the player to have had the most chances in the game. In the 74th minute, the Nice top scorer won the ball back high up the pitch, after some smart pressing from Dolberg, before holding off Balerdi's attempt to get back and sent the ball through Mandanda's legs.
The 12th L1 goal for a "surprising" player as Adrian Ursea recognised after the victory: "he has continued in this form since the start of the season. Honestly, I didn't expect that level of consistency from him."
On the third step of the podium, we find Jean-Clair Todibo (13%). The centre-back formed a solid partnership with Flavius Daniliuc to deal with the Marseille attacks, as they forced the visitors to try their luck from distance. Above and beyond his defensive performance, the former Toulouse ate up the space in front of him and never hesitated to step into midfield to add numbers. "It's my side, right wing" he laughed when speaking to OGC Nice TV after the match, his seventh L1 outing in Red and Black.