Despite shooting ahead in the first half through Wissam Ben Yedder and leading the match for over 50 minutes, AS Monaco ultimately had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Ferencvaros, who snatched a leveller 10 minutes from time.
Racing out of the blocks rapidly, Les Monegasques immediately sought to take an early advantage, as Ben Yedder had a goal ruled out for offside before hitting the bar all within the opening five minutes.
Despite dominating and being right on top, creating more quality chances proved difficult for Philippe Clement’s men after their swift start. Needing a moment of magic to break the deadlock, this is precisely what captain Ben Yedder delivered, giving his team the lead with a masterful backheel goal on 31 minutes.
Although the home team came close to equalising near the stroke of half time, Monaco headed into the break with a one goal cushion.
Unsurprisingly returning from the interval with renewed vigour, the Hungarians came out firing, wanting to get back into the game. The next 35 minutes then saw both teams share chances, with Kevin Volland coming especially close to doubling the lead half way through the second stanza, even though Ferencvaros posed the greater overall threat.
Disaster then struck, as Monaco were made to rue their missed opportunities when Kristoffer Zachariassen grabbed a leveller on 81 minutes.
Monaco then put together a late charge, with Jean Lucas firstly trying his luck before Guillermo Maripan missed a golden chance at the death, meaning Les Rouge et Blanc had to settle for a point.
With their Europa League destiny still in their own hands heading into their last group game against Red Star Belgrade next week, a win is a must to ensure they secure their progression.
“Everyone who saw this game, including Ferencvaros fans, will agree that we deserved to win tonight. We dominated a large part of the game by having chances. I didn’t see a team that was wounded today, but rather a team that wanted to win, with a very good first half in particular,” reflected the Belgian manager.
“In the second half we were more in control, while giving ourselves the best opportunities. This equaliser was a blow to everyone, even if my players reacted well and pushed until the end.”
“Everyone was very disappointed (back in the dressing room), because they gave everything to win this game. When you deserve to take the three points and you don’t win, it’s difficult, but we still have our destiny in our hands. It remains so important to always believe in our qualification.
“Maybe it will be a crucial point in the end, although it’s disappointing to have only one point in two games against Ferencvaros, when we have dominated each time. We must move forward and already think about next Thursday, as well as the league match that awaits us on Sunday against Angers.”
By the numbers
Upon looking back through the statistics, and these underline Monaco’s ascendancy, for they bettered their adversaries in terms of expected goals (1.21 to 0.80), total shots (13 to 9), big chances created (4 to 1), passes inside the opposition half (214 to 141), tackles won (10 to 7), completed dribbles (9 to 3) and ground duels won (35 to 33).
Ben Yedder’s brilliance
Aside from his sensational goal, which was his eighth in his last eight matches for Monaco, there was much to admire about Ben Yedder’s overall body of work. Working hard for his team, finding space expertly both in the box and when dropping deep and showcasing his wizardry on the ball, the instinctive, ingenuitive marksman was a constant thorn in the side of his foes.
Next up for Monaco is Angers in Ligue 1 action at the Stade Louis II on Sunday, where they’ll be desperate for victory having fallen short in their last two matches.