At the end of a crazy match, and after having led in a completely controlled first half, the Rouge et Blanc earned a point from a draw against Olympique de Marseille (1-1), in the big match of the 20th matchday of the Ligue 1 season.
It was billed as the biggest match of the round, and it kept its promises! After being ahead in a thoroughly dominant first half, the AS Monaco players had to settle for a draw at the Stade Vélodrome against Olympique de Marseille (1-1). It was a point that allows the Principality side to retain fourth place in the Ligue 1 standings.
Two weeks after a big win against Ajaccio (7-1) to conclude the first half of the season in a good way, the Rouge et Blanc traveled to the Stade Vélodrome to start the second half of the French to flight season. It was a battle at the top, with the objective of bringing back a favorable result, to get closer to the podium and confirm their strong away form.
To do this, Philippe Clement decided to again use a 4-2-3-1 as he had in in recent weeks. Suspended, Mohamed Camara was replaced by Eliot Matazo in midfield, while Eliesse Ben Seghir started in support of Wissam Ben Yedder, who made his 150th appearance wearing La Diagonale, while Aleksandr Golovin and Krépin Diatta lined up on the flanks.
In an incandescent start to the match, the attacking midfielder, a product of the Academy made himself known early on (3′), before Vanderson missed a chance (5′), as did his captain (15′). The reply from OM came from Ruslan Malinovski from range (6′) did not trouble the Rouge et Blanc. We would finally open the scoring with a free kick from the Tsar, diverted into his own goal by Jordan Veretout (0-1, 17′).
A strong first half goes unrewarded
The Monegasque domination was near-complete, as Krépin Diatta (28′) and then Wissam Ben Yedder (29′) has themselves two big chances on the counter. But Ruben Blanco kept Marseille in with a shout, even if he was very happy to see a header by Memo Maripán (29′) and a volley by the Senegalese winger (43′) fly wide.
Philippe Clement’s men headed to the break a goal to the good, to the delight of the visitors’ section and the 400 away supporters present at the Stade Vélodrome.
Before OM’s response
Unfortunately the Olympians returned from the break with a completely different aggressiveness. And on Alexander Nübel’s first foray into the area, Nuno Tavares’ blocked strike was turned in from close range by Alexis Sanchez (1-1, 47′). The teammates of the Chilean international created more chances as Nuno Tavares was particularly dangerous (56′, 57′ and 70′).
But it was on a header by Leonardo Balerdi that bounced off the crossbar that OM gave a thrill to the 60,000 spectators present (73′). It also put the Rouge et Blanc on high alert. The response came from Vanderson for the Monegasques, as he was found twice at the far post (82′ and 83′). The last big chance would be for Dimitri Payet, but his volley crashed into the side netting (87′).
The match would thus finish level, allowing AS Monaco to remain in fourth place.
3′: A run by Ben Yedder and then shot by Ben Seghir is deflected by Blanco
6′: Malinovski’s shot is captured by Nübel
15′: Ben Yedder’s shot is slightly overhit
17′: On a free kick by Golovin, Veretout deflects the ball into his own goal (0-1)
28′: A curling effort from the left foot of Diatta is tipped behind for a corner
29′: Ben Yedder has a one-on-one with Blanco
43: Diatta volleys from a corner, but it’s just over the bar
47′: Sanchez finishes from a strike by Tavares that had been saved by Nübel (1-1)
57: A strike from Tavares flashes past the corner
73′: A header from Balerdi comes off the crossbar
82′: Vanderson has a chance at the back post on a cross from Gelson Martins
87′: A volley from Payet at the far post, is just wide
AS Monaco players are undefeated in their last 22 Ligue 1 games after leading at the break (18 wins, 4 draws), i.e. since May 2, 2021 against Lyon (a 2-3 defeat). The Rouge et Blanc have also scored in their last 30 league games, the longest active streak and the second-longest streak in their history in the top flight, behind September 2016-August 2017 (36).