Ligue 1: AS Monaco frustrated with 2-2 draw vs. Nantes
Despite going 2-0 up inside 30 minutes, AS Monaco were ultimately forced to settle for a 2-2 draw against Nantes, who produced a strong second-half fightback.
Hoping to build on their two-game winning streak, AS Monaco began the match solidly while they adjusted to their determined, hard to beat opponents.
Les Monegasques would strike first to get off to a dream start, as Axel Disasi masterfully volleyed home Caio Henrique’s customary pinpoint corner delivery.
The Brazilian with a wand of a left foot was at it again shortly after, with his tantalising cross serving as the catalyst for Eliot Matazo to double their lead just before the half-hour mark.
Krepin Diatta and Vanderson then came close to further extending their ascendancy before the break, but they just missed their opportunities, thus meaning the score remained 0-2 at the interval.
More attempts on net would immediately follow in the early exchanges of the second stanza, but the outstanding Alban Lafont was up to the challenge between the sticks for Nantes.
Les Canaris would make ASM pay for their missed opportunities when they firstly pulled one back through Mostafa Mohamed on 65 minutes before Ludovic Blas levelled the ledger (78th).
Even though both teams produced late offensive flurries, the points were shared in the end, in a match where Monaco were left to rue their missed chances against the defiant home side.
“We are obviously disappointed not to have taken three points, especially looking at the course of the meeting,” lamented the Belgian manager.
“I’m frustrated, of course, but I don’t think now is the time to forget the things we did well, especially in our use of the ball. We didn’t concede goals with an open defence, it’s not because of our game plan. It’s down to the details. For example, I wanted to get Golo out because he was tired, but Nantes scored a goal two minutes before his departure.
“We had more and clearer chances than FC Nantes. But they were more effective than us in the area of truth. The team did not give up in the second period. The Nantes changes didn’t stop us from doing our job. We must not forget that the team is young and we had to deal with several absences. And then we also came across a great keeper today.
“We have 11 points more than last year at the same time. You have to accept the fact that opponents are sometimes very effective, as was the case today. There are matches that you should lose but win and vice versa, it’s the story of a season. We lost perhaps a few too many aerial duels. It’s up to us to review what we did well and less well to work on that in training.”
By the numbers, the fact ASM bettered their foes in terms of total shots (16 to 9), big chances created (3 to 1), shots on target (10 to 2), shots inside the box (13 to 5), expected goals (1.27 to 1.25), passes in the opposition half (156 to 117) and overall duels won (73 to 47) illustrated what an admirable effort they put in.
Up next for Monaco is a colossal clash with Lorient at the Stade Louis II, where a win is necessary to keep in the running for a coveted top three place. Sitting three points behind third placed Olympique de Marseille, who themselves drew with Lorient this weekend, Monaco will need to be right on top of their game to triumph in this one.