After a cagey opening ten minutes, the first shot of the game came from the boot of Moutinho. It was blocked by a St-Etienne defender (11 mins), but the match was up and running as a contest. The away side wasted little time coming up with a response, and on 17 minutes Subasic got down well to push away a low from Lemoine. Moments later, Carrasco tried to thread a cute pass for Berbatov in the area, but the ball was narrowly cut out by Téophile-Catherine. St-Étienne then created a good chance from a wide free-kick by Mollo, the ball finding its way to Monnet-Paquet whose effort lacked the power to trouble Subasic (25 mins).
A finely balanced first half
Just before the half-hour mark, Fabinho picked his way superbly down the right-hand side of the St-Etienne box, but his volleyed cross was claimed by Ruffier. Seconds later, the visitors' keeper was happy to see a Matheus effort skim past his left post following a fine cross from Moutinho. "Les Verts" found another response on 35 minutes, as Monnet-Paquet drilled in a shot that went wide of the far post. Then in the 43rd minute, Diomandé was unable to find the target with another powerful effort, before Carrasco took a free-kick from out wide that flashed across the face of Ruffier's goal with nobody able to get the crucial touch. After a finely balanced first 45 minutes, the two teams went in at half-time with the scoreline goalless.
Erding heads St-Etienne into the lead
After the break, the Red & Whites were the first into action. Following some excellent interplay initiated by Carrasco, Kurzawa went for goal with a volleyed effort that flew inches over the top-left corner of Ruffier's goal (48 mins). Carrasco was back in the thick of things on 53 minutes, pulling back a cross for Berbatov. The Bulgarian got ahead of his marker but could only toe-poke the ball just over. On 58 minutes Leonardo Jardim made his first change, sending on Silva in place of Kondogbia. Unfortunately, Erding put the visitors' in front in the 62nd minute, heading Tabanou's cross into the top-left corner with Subasic powerless. Suddenly finding themselves behind, AS Monaco had thirty minutes to get themselves back into the game.
Martial finds the leveller
The second Monegasque substitution came within moments, with Martial replacing Matheus. The effect was almost immediate. Picked out perfectly by Kurzawa, the French U21 international smashed home a splendid volley to equalise with his very first sight of goal (68 mins). Two minutes later, Berbatov found himself clean through in the St-Etienne box but was incorrectly flagged offside as he shaped to shoot. The Bulgarian was replaced by Valère Germain in the 83rd minute, as Leonardo Jardim played his last attacking card. By this point in the game, "Les Verts" were only threatening from set pieces, and despite allowing the home side to dominate possession they shut up shop and conceded no further chances. As in the reverse fixture, the game finished 1-1. The result will leave AS Monaco with a few regrets, but operation "podium" continues next Tuesday with the visit of Montpellier!