AS Monaco grabbed a deserved point at the death through Wissam Ben Yedder against Lorient in a match where they hit the woodwork three times.
Wanting an immediate response from his team following their shock cup exit last weekend, Philippe Clement picked a strong squad for this crunch clash away at Lorient, with him opting for the same eleven that defeated Brest recently.
Getting off to a solid start, Monaco settled into the match nicely by enjoying some quality spells of possession and firing off some early shots, with Mohamed Camara’s effort 15 minutes in that struck the post particularly notable.
Monaco were then awarded a penalty 10 minutes later after Breel Embolo was brought down only for it to be rescinded following a VAR review due to an offside.
The remainder of the opening stanza then saw both teams share moments of ascendancy, as they headed into the interval level.
Coming out strongest from the break, it would be Les Monegasques who opened the scoring in the 61st minute through Embolo, who unleashed a venomous shot to beat former ASM keeper Vito Mannone.
The game was then turned on its head when, shortly after Axel Disasi hit the crossbar, Lorient bagged two goals in quick succession through Dango Ouattara and Terem Moffi to propel themselves into the lead.
Desperate to get back into the match, Monaco then hit the bar again as luck appeared to well and truly not be on their side. But a late strike from Ben Yedder levelled the ledger for Monaco to allow the away team to salvage something from the thrilling encounter.
“I think we deserved to win this match. We had 60% possession, sixteen shots against eight for Lorient and we hit the crossbar three times. It’s not the most important, but it still proves that we dominated. I am happy with the reaction of my team after the two goals conceded and the bad luck of this evening. I also reviewed the images, and for me, there is a penalty on Eliesse Ben Seghir. That’s a shame,” he lamented.
“My players showed good things technically, tactically and mentally. Between the narrowly canceled penalty, the three crossbar hits, and another penalty on Eliesse, it was not easy, but they always believed in it and did everything to win. The entrants brought impact. This is very important for the weeks and months to come. If we manage to repeat the match we had today, we will take a lot of points.”
By the numbers
Dominating large chunks of the match and clearly the superior side, the fact Monaco bettered their foes in terms of possession (58% to 42%), total shots (16 to 8), shots from inside the box (11 to 5), completed passes in the opposition half (234 to 107), accurate crosses (10 to 3) and aerial duels won (15 to 9) underlined their solid showing.
Moving up to joint-fourth in the standings alongside Rennes after their draw, next up for Monaco is a home clash with relegation-threatened Ajaccio, where a win is a must to keep within reach of a coveted top three spot.