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Review

Ligue 1: Late Lorient leveller denies AS Monaco victory

Despite dominating large chunks of their clash with Lorient, AS Monaco were left frustrated to only take home a point due to a crushing 98th minute equaliser from the home side.

The Match 

Sticking largely to the proven formula that’s worked excellently to begin the season, Adi Hutter made just the one change to his team – bringing in Denis Zakaria for the suspended Mohamed Camara.

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@ASM

Getting off to a shocking start, Les Monegasques immediately found themselves behind within two minutes when Aiyegun Tosin slotted home coolly.

Wanting to respond swiftly, this is precisely what ASM did, for they assertively gained control of the match and stamped their mark admirably.

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Firing off some promising efforts quickly after, they eventually drew level in the 17th minute following an outstanding collective passage, which culminated in Aleksandr Golovin smartly finding the back of the net.

Continuing to bring the pressure and play in a commanding manner in their search for the lead, ASM had to be content with heading into the interval level even though they produced some decent openings to close out the first 45.

Coming out for the second stanza with energy and a fierce determination to go ahead, it wasn’t long till they achieved their aim, as star substitute Folarin Balogun bagged his first goal for his club with authority to underline his class.

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Eager to extend their advantage to seal all three points, the away team carved out some solid openings in the final portion of proceedings, most notably when Takumi Minamino appeared to have scored only for his strike to be chalked off for offside.

Hutter’s men were disappointingly then made to rue their missed chances, for Lorient snagged a heartbreaking equaliser at the death courtesy of Romain Faivre. A terrible way to end a match that they were clearly the better team in.

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Hutter’s Debrief

“Of course I’m upset and disappointed. It wasn’t our best match today, but we were able to bounce back well after conceding the first goal, which is not easy,” insisted the Austrian tactician.

“We deserved our equaliser with this fantastic goal from Aleksandr Golovin, but for me, in the first half we played too slowly. Faced with a team that defends so much and is so dangerous on the counterattack, it’s not easy.

“We then didn’t start our second half very well, we could have done better. The three changes brought a lot. We managed to take the advantage, without managing to defend it until the end. It’s a draw in the end, and I’m disappointed. We must continue to move forward.”

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He then added this on Balogun’s impressive impact: “I’m very happy for him and for his first goal with the club, I think it’s deserved. He had already scored with the USA during the break. He is a player who brings other skills to the upper part of the pitch. But we also have players like Wissam Ben Yedder, Myron Boadu, Takumi Minamino and Aleksandr Golovin who also bring us things offensively.”

Key Stats

By the numbers, the fact ASM held the ascendancy in terms of expected goals (1.68 to 0.94), total shots (20 to 10), shots on target (7 to 3), shots inside the box (15 to 5), possession (59% to 41%), passes in the opposition half (328 to 137) and successful dribbles (15 to 11) aptly depicted their superiority.

Intriguing Derby awaits

While the result was far from ideal, the undefeated Monaco still crucially sit atop the Ligue 1 standings, as they’ll be keen to return to the winners list after a valuable week on the training ground before facing OGC Nice, who just triumphed vs. Paris Saint-Germain, in what looms as a fascinating derby.