On Sunday, February 14, AS Monaco travelled north to face off against Ligue 1 rivals FC Lorient at the Stade du Moustoir. Monaco have enjoyed a remarkable winning streak as of late, having won every match in 2021 so far. Head coach Niko Kovac would have been keen to remain undefeated, so he opted to play the same starting 11 players that found success against Nice and Nantes.
The first few minutes following kick-off were not in the visitors’ favour, as Lorient’s Terem Moffi was found deep downfield by his teammate. Moffi then made it through the red and white’s defensive line, before facing Monaco goalie Benjamin Lecomte in a one-on-one situation, and putting the ball past him. With that, the score changed to 0-1 at the seventh minute.
The Monegasques seemed to be spurred on by this early concession, as they made several pushes up-field in an effort to level the scoreline. However, the minutes passed by, and the Principality players finished the first half one goal behind their opponents.
Upon returning from the locker room, Monaco wasted no time in making their presence felt, and were awarded a corner-kick within minutes. The Monegasque ball flew into the box and Lorient’s Houboulang Mendes made the mistake of touching it with his hand, resulting in a much needed penalty for the visitors. Team captain Wissam Ben Yedder stepped up to the spot and struck the ball into the host’s net, equalising at the 48th minute.
With a level scoreline and a great deal of time remaining, the match was still anyone’s to be won. The locals responded to the red and white equaliser with determination, and before long, Moffi was found in a dangerous area again. The Breton centre-forward finished from close range, and with that reclaimed the lead for his side making it 1-2 at the 62nd minute.
At this point in the match, the hosts could almost taste victory, but not if Ben Yedder could have anything to say about it. In the very last minutes of the match, Monaco’s magic no.9 received the ball from Guillermo Maripan, and approached Lorient’s posts with every intent to score. Crucially, Ben Yedder found the back of the net, levelling the score two minutes into overtime.
After a match full of unexpected twists and turns, Monaco drew with Lorient, who proved to be worthy opponents on this occasion. With that, Monaco gain an essential point, and stay in fourth place on the Ligue 1 table. The Monegasques also remain undefeated in 2021, and will be looking to extend their lossless streak as they travel to the Parc des Princes to face off against league giants Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday, February 21.
Featured image courtesy of AS Monaco