Monaco miss chance to pres­sure league lead­ers fol­low­ing 1-1 draw

The China Post - - SPORTS -

Fourth-place Monaco missed the chance to keep the pres­sure on the top three in the French league af­ter be­ing held to a 1-1 home draw by Sain­tE­ti­enne on Fri­day.

Turkey striker Mev­lut Erd­ing put Saint-Eti­enne ahead in the 62nd minute, but six min­utes later teenage striker An­thony Mar­tial grabbed his fifth league goal in the past four games to make it 1-1.

“We opened the scor­ing (so) we’re a bit dis­ap­pointed about miss­ing out on the three points,” Erd­ing said. “But it’s still good to get a draw here. We played well tonight, it’s a log­i­cal re­sult.”

The draw leaves Monaco, which faces Ital­ian side Ju­ven­tus in the Cham­pi­ons League quar­ter­fi­nals later this month, three points be­hind Mar­seille, four be­hind Lyon and five adrift of leader Paris Saint-Ger­main.

Lyon is away to mid-ta­ble Gi­ungamp on Satur­day and Mar­seille hosts bit­ter ri­val PSG on Sun­day at Stade Velo­drome.

Saint-Eti­enne had the bet­ter chances in the open­ing 25 min­utes, with Monaco goal­keeper Dani­jel Suba­sic stop­ping ef­forts from mid­fielder Fa­bien Le­moine and striker Kevin Mon­net-Pa­quet.

But Monaco hit back and, af­ter Por­tu­gal mid­fielder Joao Moutinho whipped in a cross, Brazil­ian for­ward Matheus Carvalho went close with a glanc­ing header.

Monaco started the sec­ond half strongly with left back Layvin Kurzawa and vet­eran for­ward Dim­i­tar Ber­ba­tov both go­ing close, but the vis­i­tors went ahead through Erd­ing’s sev­enth league goal of the cam­paign.

Mar­tial, who has been one of the rev­e­la­tions of the sea­son, equal­ized with a crisp left-footed vol­ley from Kurzawa’s left-wing cross.

“I try and give my all ev­ery time I play,” said Mar­tial, who scored two min­utes af­ter re­plac­ing Carvalho. “The im­por­tant thing was not to lose tonight. We’ll try and make up for it against Mont­pel­lier (on Tues­day night).”

Monaco had a scare in the third minute of in­jury time, when Sain­tE­ti­enne right back Fran­cois Clerc’s pow­er­ful shot flew just over the cross­bar.

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