Keenly aware of just how crucial this match was in the race for a top three spot, the Red & Whites came out the blocks fast. Starting the game, Touré put in a useful looking cross inside the first minute, but it was deflected behind by Mbengue for a corner, which came to nothing. In the 8th minute, Carrasco found Berbatov in a great position inside the visitors' box, but the Bulgarian miscontrolled the ball. Five minutes later, the Monegasque n°10 was inches away from converting another superb cross from Touré. With just over fifteen minutes on the clock, Moutinho found the head of Matheus, but the Brazilian sent his effort just over the bar (17 mins). Within moments of that chance, Elderson volleyed wide after seizing on a good pass from Berbatov (20 mins).
Silva breaks the deadlock
The roles were reversed in the 23rd minute as Elderson delivered a cross towards Berbatov, who similarly directed a header off target. On 25 minutes, Rennes threatened for the first time in the game, with Ntep getting a yard of space on the left wing to cross for Henrique. He laid the ball off to Doucouré, who missed the Monegasque goal from five yards out. AS Monaco quickly recovered from that fright, as Silva took advantage of a howler from Mexer to home in on goal unopposed and beat Costil from close range to open the scoring (28 mins)! The Portuguese midfielders was involved against ten minutes later, firing a shot over the top after a fine square pass from Carrasco. The Belgian himself came close to putting daylight between the sides shortly after, but his free-kick from out wide skimmed Costil's left upright. The first period ended with a decent effort from Toivonen that arrowed just wide.
Subasic does the job...
After the break, the Red & Whites looked to pile on the pressure through Fabinho, but he screwed his long-range strike off target (48 mins). The Brazilian was back in the thick of the action again on 54 minutes, but after making a penetrating run down the right-flank his cross lacked power and failed to find a teammate. Just before the hour mark, following a lovely one-two with Silva, Carrasco lured Mexer into a tackle in the area. The Rennes defender nudged the Belgian off balance, but the referee was unmoved. The away side then had two good opportunities from free kicks (65 and 66 mins), but were unable to capitalise. On 68 minutes, Martial - who had come on for Matheus ten minutes earlier - went on a driving run towards goal and sent a low shot past the far post. With time ticking into the final fifteen minutes, Subasic was forced into a brilliant stop to keep out a thumping shot from Toïvonen (75 mins), before the Croatian international smartly held on to a Prcic header (76 mins).
...but is beaten by Habibou
Rennes were throwing the kitchen sink at AS Monaco in search of an equaliser. In the 80th minute, Elderson produced a magnificent intervention to prevent Prcic from levelling the scores following a left-wing cross. After a quieter spell at the start of the second half, the match was going back up a gear, and a lovely bit of build-up from AS Monaco saw Carrasco unable to find the target with an acrobatic attempt from Raggi's cross (83 mins). But it was Rennes who had the final word in this game, as Habibou beat Subasic from close range to draw the visitors level in the 87th minute. The Red & Whites did their best to restore their lead in the final moments, but the match finished all square. AS Monaco let slip a fine chance to pull away from OM in the Ligue 1 table, and will need to come up with something different if they are to overturn the odds against Juventus on Wednesday.