For their toughest Ligue 1 fixture so far this season, AS Monaco travelled to Paris to face off against Paris Saint-Germain in the Parc des Princes on Sunday, August 28.
In light of Paris’ sheer attacking power, with a front three composed of Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar Jr, Monaco head coach Philippe Clement opted to play his men in a very defensive 5-2-3 formation.
The game began in bizarre fashion, as Neymar Jr picked up a yellow card at the five minute mark for pushing Kevin Volland to the floor without any provocation at all.
Perhaps surprisingly for some, it would be the visitors who would strike first. Summer signing Mohamed Camara won the ball back for Monaco and initiated a counter attack, in which Golovin was able to get a ball past Marquinhos and Kimpembe and into the path of Volland.
The German striker could not be caught by Kimpembe before he set his sight on goal and scored past a towering Donnarumma to make it 0-1 to Monaco at just the 20th minute.
A frustrated Parisian side was left trailing and seemingly unable to do anything about it, as Camara continued to punish potential threats, even if they were comprised of some of the world’s most gifted and talented players. By halftime the scoreline remained in Monaco’s favour, as Messi and Mbappe both saw their shots rattle of the Principality’s posts.
10 minutes into the second half, Camara was issued a yellow card after a late challenge on Paris’ Hakimi near the touchline, so the Malian machine now had to play more tame to avoid seeing red. The situation then turned more sour for Monaco, as a foul on Neymar by Guillermo Maripan lead to a penalty kick being awarded to the hosts.
Notoriously capable from the spot, Neymar calmly converted the penalty, levelling the scoreline at the 70th minute.
Mbappe came close to scoring again at the 83rd minute, but the former Monaco man continued to struggle in front of goal, while Alexander Nübel remained attentive in goal.
After a quiet night by his own standards, Messi was substituted off for Sarabia at the 87th minute, and only minutes later did Sarabia go to the floor in agony. A bold challenge by Badiashile saw the Monaco defender receive a yellow card for his challenge, and he narrowly avoided seeing red, as replays showed his studs connect above Sarabia’s ankle.
Four minutes into injury time, the match was halted as a scuffle broke out on the pitch between Hakimi and Monaco’s Caio Henrique, with both defenders receiving a yellow card for playing their part the incident. This would be the last bit of drama on the pitch, as the final whistle blew to signal a draw between Paris and their surprisingly feisty visitors.
Paris remain at the top of the Ligue 1 table, but drop points for the first time this season thanks to a courageous display by the Monegasques. Monaco now find themselves in 12th place on the table having gained just one point, but a draw against such a super team will no doubt motivate Monaco to keep up the fight.
Monaco will now prepare to face off against Troyes, back at home in the Stade Louis II on Wednesday, August 31.