There was an emotional atmosphere ahead of kick-off, as a Vélodrome decked out in red, white and blue paid a dignified and respectful tribute to the victims of the 13 November attacks. Thereafter, the football took centre stage once more. Marseille saw plenty of the ball in the early stages and found the opener in the 12th minute after Alessandrini pounced on a half-clearance by the Monaco defence in the visitors’ box.
Touré at the double
The Monegasque response was not long in coming. Six minutes later, Coentrao delivered a wonderful free kick that found its way to Almamy Touré in front of goal with only Mandanda to beat. The right-back guided the ball home perfectly to draw his side level. The game was an evenly contested affair, and AS Monaco went close again through Fabinho, who sped away into space down the right, darted into the area and drilled a low effort towards goal that Mandanda blocked. Then came a barnstorming end to the first half. Michy Batshuayi smacked a shot against the post (36 mins), but within three minutes Touré put the visitors ahead (38 mins). Picking up the ball and advancing down the middle, the young full-back combined well with Carrillo before wrong-footing Karim Rekik and coolly slotting past Mandanda for a superb finish! Having conceded the opener, AS Monaco led 2-1 at the break.
The match swung back in OM’s favour at the start of the second half, as the home side equalised in the 51st minute through Batshuayi who took advantage of a mix-up in the Monegasque defence – and a definite offside that was missed by the officials. It was back to square one for the Red & Whites, but they showed no nerves and carved out more chances through Touré (57 mins), Elderson (58 mins) and Carrillo twice (59 and 65 mins). AS Monaco were finally rewarded for their attacking endeavour on 72 minutes, as Coentrao headed an Elderson cross past Mandanda.
It looked as if the Monegasques were set for another valuable away win in the race for a top three place. But it was not to be, as Lucas Ocampos inadvertently laid the ball on a plate for the arriving Nkoudou to slam home at the far post (82 mins). It proved to be the last goal of the night. With fifteen matches played in this Ligue 1 campaign, the Red & Whites are now seventh in the table, just two points off the top three. Their next opponents are second-placed SM Caen who visit the Louis-II at 19.00 on Wednesday.