AS Monaco endured an eventful visit to the very nearly fully sold out Stade Vélodrome, as they held on to a draw against Olympique de Marseille despite a considerable numerical disadvantage by the time the full-time whistle blew on the evening of Saturday, January 27.
The visiting Monegasques took an early lead thanks to a precise deep ball from Aleksandr Golovin that was collected by captain Wissam Ben Yedder and subsequently shot into the back of the net to make it 0-1 at only the seventh minute.
However, Adi Hütter’s side was reduced to 10 men just four minutes later, when central defender Guillermo Maripan was shown a red card for lightly holding back an advancing Vitinha.
Marseille star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang only made matters worse for the visitors with a goal of his own to level the scoreline at the 39th minute.
Down but certainly not out, Monaco found a response through a lightning quick counter-attack, in which Ben Yedder found Maghnes Akliouche who finished to bring the Principality side back in front on the final action of the first half.
The rollercoaster of emotions continued for travelling supporters when Marseille’s Leonardo Balerdi took an unstoppable shot to equalise four minutes into the second half.
Now 2-2 with 40 minutes of regular time left to play, both sides gave it their all to find the edge, although Monaco found themselves defending for the most part. Denis Zakaria was given a second yellow at the 87th minute, bringing Monaco down to nine men with a handful of long minutes remaining.
Aubameyang came close to scoring the finisher two minutes into injury time, but exemplary defending kept the Gabonese striker’s shot at bay, and Monaco level at full-time.
The Monegasque’s leave Marseille with one point, a solid result with everything taken into account. Hütter’s men managed to hold on to a 2-2 scoreline despite taking a fraction of the shots and possession over the course of an intense fixture in the French championship.
Following the draw, Monaco continue to occupy fourth place in the Ligue 1 table, and must now look ahead to their match against Le Havre at the Stade Louis II on Sunday, February 4.
Featured image courtesy of AS Monaco