This was the glamour fixture of matchday 22 in Ligue 1. Second-placed AS Monaco travelled to Paris to take on the third-placed team, PSG. Leonardo Jardim kept faith with his usual 4-4-2, spearheaded by the partnership of Falcao and Germain. After the symbolic kick-off was taken by former PSG star Ronaldinho, the two sides got the match proper under way. The early stages were a tactical affair between two well-organised formations. Unai Emery’s men were the first to pose a threat, with a lovely layoff from Lucas on the edge of the box to find Cavani. The Uruguayan’s powerful shot lacked control, however. Moments later, Thomas Lemar curled a superb free-kick inches from Trapp’s goal from 25 yards out. At the end of the first period, Subasic made a vital double save to ensure AS Monaco went in at half-time on terms with the scoreline blank.
The Monegasques started the second half at full tilt and Falcao quickly seized on a poor clearance by the PSG defence, finding himself in a shooting position inside the box. Trapp pulled off a fine stop, only for the ball to rebound to Lemar, who looked to place a shot but found Rabiot in the way. The German ‘keeper then picked up a thigh injury just before the hour mark and was forced to come off, with Areola coming on in his place. After a fifteen minute spell during which the Red & Whites held the upper hand, the pattern of the game began to even out. First Di Maria and then Draxler had opportunities to break the deadlock, but on each occasion they were denied by heroic Monegasque defending. The match turned in the 81st minute, though, when Sidibé tugged Draxeler’s shirt in the box, and the referee awarded a penalty to the home side. Cavani converted from the spot.
Silva, hero of the hour!
Despite going behind, AS Monaco’s desire and determination did not falter. The coach threw on Mbappé and Carrillo in an attempt to find a way back into the game. But it was Silva who drew the visitors level in time added on. From 25 yards out, the Portuguese playmaker’s shot deceived Areola, who appeared to be unsighted by the players in front of him. The match ended 1-1, a result that sees AS Monaco retake top spot in Ligue 1, level on points with Nice. Their next match is away at Chambly (N) in the last 32 of the Coupe de France on Wednesday.