Roared on by their fans, the "Horsemen" came out of the blocks at full tilt. Almeida (6 mins) and Ismayilov (10 mins) both threatened inside the first ten minutes, but the former's effort was beaten out by Subasic, while the latter sent his shot wide. AS Monaco responded. Traoré (13 mins), Toulalan (14 mins) and in particular Pasalic (16 mins) all made Sehic work. The Qarabag 'keeper produced a superb save to deny the Croatian midfielder, who had popped up on the edge of the box to collect a poor clearance and smash an effort towards goal.
Armenteros the opportunist
After an intense opening twenty minutes, there was no let up in the tempo. Qarabag began to take control of proceedings, but found themselves up against a Monegasque side well focused on their defensive duties. It ultimately took a mistake from the out-of-position Raggi to allow the home side to take a 39th minute lead through Armenteros, as the Italian defender played the Qaragab forward onside, who then beat Subasic to the ball in the box. AS Monaco looked to fight back immediately, Fabinho was denied a clear penalty in the 42nd minute after he was brought down in the opposition area. At the break it was advantage Qarabag, to the delight of their supporters.
The match bursts into life
At the beginning of the second half, it took an excellent intervention from Subasic to keep out a free kick from a tight angle on his right by Sadygov (52 mins). Carvalho then thwarted Ismayilov and the game exploded into life, becoming a real end to end affair. El Jadeyaoui went down in the box after a tussle with Fabinho, but saw his penalty claims waved away. Sehic then saved from El Shaarawy (55 mins). Shortly after the hour mark, Cavaleiro came on to replace Pasalic. After Raggi had an effort off target (62 mins) and El Shaarawy saw a shot narrowly deflected wide (65 mins), the Portuguese winger changed the complexion of the game.
Cavaleiro's perseverence pays off
In the 72nd minute, he darted forward straight down the centre of the pitch. Carvalho, who had gone up with him, picked up the ball and immediately played his young teammate in behind the defence. Sehic got to the ball first, but Cavaleiro had continued his run and charged down the goalkeeper's attempted clearance, with the ball slowing but surely trickling into the empty net! After the equaliser, Qarabag dominated possession but were unable to create any clear-cut openings. Silva, on the other hand, came close to winning the game for AS Monaco in the 90th minute, but was denied by the busy Sehic. Once again, AS Monaco had to wait until the last twenty minutes to find a goal. As against Anderlecht and Tottenham, it's another precious point in a very tight Group J.