Lille score with their first attack
The early stages of the game were a tight affair, as both teams worked hard to close each other down, leaving little space to work in. The first effort on goal didn’t arrive until there were 12 minutes gone, Valère Germain trying his luck from a good pullback by Ferreira Carrasco but narrowly failing to find the target. After a cagey opening fifteen minutes, things finally looked to be opening up as Monaco began pressing their opponents back. But it was LOSC who opened the scoring from their very first chance. Mendes was sent clear down the right and pulled the ball back for Roux, who struck hard and low across goal. Unsighted by Lopes (who was actually standing in an offside position), Subasic was powerless to prevent the ball nestling in the far corner (18 mins).
Ferreira Carrasco misses the unmissable...
AS Monaco were reeling and three minutes later Gueye almost doubled Lille’s advantage, his shot grazing the upright (21 mins). The home side eventually managed to find a response, as Moutinho’s cross-shot flew just over (22 mins). The Portuguese was in the thick of the action again on 26 minutes as he served up the ball for Berbatov in the danger area, but the Bulgarian was unable to take advantage. In the 35th minute, the exemplary Toulalan broke free on the right and put the ball into the middle, where Germain had the ball nicked away just as he was shaping to shoot. With half-time approaching, Kurzawa’s long pass found Ferreira Carrasco in the Lille area. The Belgian’s first touch was perfect, but he somehow contrived to send his shot wide of the post. The Louis-II was ready to celebrate a goal, and the crowd couldn’t hide their disappointment when Mr Ennjimi blew the half-time whistle.
...but creates the equaliser for Berbatov
From the start of the second-half, the Red & Whites laid siege to the Lille goal. Martial, who had come on in place of Germain, lit the blue touchpaper with a low shot that was just about held by Enyeama (52 mins). Monaco were rewarded for their efforts just after the hour-mark, as Fabinho sent YFC into space down the right. The Belgian powered into the area and put the ball on a plate for Berbatov, who had the easiest of tasks and duly rolled the ball into the Lille net (61 mins)! Suddenly it was all square again, and AS Monaco - now in the ascendancy - went in search of a winner. With Lille coach René Girard sent to the stands by the referee in the aftermath of the equaliser, Kjaer came to his side’s rescue with a last-ditch block from Kurzawa, following fine work by Berbatov (66 mins).
LOSC creak but stand firm
It was now all about damage limitation for LOSC, and they worked hard to deny AS Monaco an equaliser, despite some close calls late in the game. Moutinho went close with a free kick, Kurzawa’s header brushed the outside of Enyeama’s left-hand post, Ocampos had a shot deflected clear and the home side earned a string of corners, but the Lille defence held firm right to the end of five minutes of added time. The match ended honours even, despite AS Monaco’s valiant efforts to find a winner. Leonardo Jardim’s men will count themselves unfortunate not to have taken all three points. Ligue 1 will now take a backseat for a fortnight during the international break. AS Monaco’s next match is away at Lyon, before the long-awaited return to the UEFA Champions League.