After ten minutes of light sparring at the start of the match, Anthony Martial opened hostilities with the first chance of the night, but the U21 international couldn't keep his shot on target. Reims responded by earning a corner, from which Fofan directed a header wide of the goal (13 mins). On the quarter-hour mark, Germain tried his luck with a shot aimed for the far corner that was deflected behind. The early pressure paid off in the 19th minute, as AS Monaco broke the deadlock. Silva crossed from the right, Ferreira Carrasco on the stretch failed to make contact, but Elderson followed up at the far post to slot the ball through the legs of Placide to make it 1-0.
Martial misses the chance to add a second
It was the Nigerian defender's first goal for the club, and it looked for all the world as if the home side would build on that breakthrough. In the 28th minute, Martial showed exemplary control in the area to take the ball around Placide, but Fofana had tracked back and produced a heroic goal-line clearance to keep the deficit down to one. Martial had adopted a shoot-on-sight policy and registered two more penalty area efforts in the 32nd and 36th minutes, but saw the first blocked in extremis by Tacalfred, while Placide kept out the second!
Placide keeps his side in it
The missed chances continued to mount up after the break. Germain fired an effort just wide (47 mins), and moments later Placide got his hands to a header by Carvalho from Ferreira Carrasco's searching free kic (49 mins). AS Monaco had yet another decent opening on the hour mark as Fabinho was taken down just outside the penalty area, but Silva squandered the invitation, blasting the resulting free kick over the bar. In the 79th minute, Germain outpaced Signorino on the right wing and crossed for Traoré (on as a sub in placed of Martial, -ed.), but the Ivorian was unable to keep his header on target.
Moukandjo completes the smash and grab
Seconds later, Placide once again kept Reims in the game with a save from Ferreira Carrasco, and launched a counter attack that would prove fatal to the home side's ambitions for three points. And it was a former Monegasque, Benjamin Moukandjo, who converted the visitors' one and only chance of the night! The match ended all square, a bitter disappointment for AS Monaco, particularly as victory would have seen them jump into fourth spot in Ligue 1. But there will be no time to linger on what might have been, as the focus now switches back to the UEFA Champions League and Tuesday's crucial trip to Lisbon, ahead of the Monegasques' next Ligue 1 game away to St-Etienne next Saturday.