Folarin Balogun Endures Penalty Woes in Monaco Debut Defeat to Nice
Folarin Balogun’s highly anticipated full debut for AS Monaco ended in disappointment as his side suffered a 1-0 defeat to rivals Nice in Ligue 1. The 22-year-old forward, who recently made the move from Arsenal, had a forgettable game as he saw two penalties saved by the Nice goalkeeper.
Monaco’s regular penalty taker, Wissam Ben Yedder, was on the bench for this fixture, giving Balogun the opportunity to make an impact early on. In the 12th minute, Aleksandr Golovin was fouled inside the box, and Balogun stepped up to take the penalty. However, his low effort to Marcin Bułka’s right was saved, denying him a dream start.
Undeterred by his earlier miss, Balogun had another chance from the spot in the 56th minute when Monaco were awarded a second penalty. Once again, he aimed low and to the goalkeeper’s right, but Bułka came up with another crucial save. These missed opportunities would prove costly for Monaco as Jeremy Boga scored a stunning winner for Nice in the 91st minute, securing all three points for his team.
The defeat not only ended Monaco’s unbeaten run but also saw them miss out on the chance to extend their lead at the top of the Ligue 1 table. Instead, Nice leapfrogged them into first place.
Balogun’s penalty woes make him only the second player in Ligue 1 history, since Opta started collecting data in the 2006-07 season, to miss two penalties in a single game. The first player to achieve this feat was Toifilou Maoulida for Auxerre against Bordeaux in August 2007. Interestingly, Balogun had also missed a penalty against Nice last season while playing for his former club Reims.
Despite his penalty struggles, Balogun finished the previous campaign with an impressive record of 22 goals in 39 appearances. This form earned him a move to Monaco in a transfer worth up to €40 million (£34.4 million; $43.4 million), including add-ons.
Since joining Monaco, Balogun has made three appearances and scored his first goal for the club just four minutes after coming off the bench in a 2-2 draw against Lorient in September.
Monaco will be looking to bounce back from this defeat when they face Marseille in their next fixture, scheduled for next Saturday.
Balogun’s move from Arsenal to Monaco generated significant interest, with fans and pundits eager to see how he would perform in a new environment. In an exclusive interview with The Athletic, Balogun expressed his confidence in his ability to make an impact at Monaco and discussed his expectations for the season ahead. The article provides deeper insights into Balogun’s mindset and his aspirations for success with his new club.
In conclusion, Folarin Balogun’s full debut for AS Monaco did not go as planned, as he missed two penalties in a 1-0 defeat to Nice. Despite this setback, Balogun remains a promising talent with a proven goal-scoring record. Monaco will be hoping that he can quickly bounce back from this disappointment and continue to contribute to the team’s success in the upcoming fixtures.