Football: Former Monégasque scores last-gasp equaliser as Monaco drop more points at home

AS Monaco dropped more points at home after former player Tiémoué Bakayoko scored a last-gasp equaliser (2-2) to deny Adi Hütter’s men a point that would have lifted them to second in Ligue 1 on Sunday.

Monaco haven’t won at home since 3rd December 2023, however, off the back of three positive performances against Lens, PSG and Strasbourg, the conditions were perfect for the Principality club to break that duck against a struggling Lorient side.

However, Hütter’s men couldn’t have made a worse start to the encounter. Without even getting a foot on the ball, Les Merlus took a shock lead within the first 40 seconds. An intelligent reverse ball from Théo Le Bris was met by Mohamed Bamba, whose volley from a tight angle rocketed off the post and into the path of Wilfried Singo, who inadvertently diverted into his own net.

Monaco immediately set about reversing the deficit and had ample chances to do so. Wissam Ben Yedder and Aleksandr Golovin, usually so efficient in front of goal, missed one-on-one opportunities, whilst Takumi Minamino also struck the foot of the post within the space of just a few minutes. Les Monégasques were knocking at the door, but they couldn’t knock it down.

Ultimately, it was one of Lorient’s own who did the job for them. Formose Mendy, in an attempt to divert a harmless cross back to goalkeeper Yvon Mvogo, misread his goalkeeper’s positioning and instead chested the ball past the Swiss shot-stopper, who was completely taken out of the equation.

Mvogo’s “dream” performance enough for a point

The barrage on Lorient’s goal temporarily abated towards the end of the first half, but it ramped up again at the start of the second. Akliouche drew another save from Mvogo early in the second half before Ben Yedder saw another glorious chance go begging. It was Mvogo who was once again equal to the France international’s effort and there was an overwhelming feeling that this wouldn’t be Monaco’s day.

However, the Principality side’s efforts were finally rewarded when Youssouf Fofana rose highest to head Golovin’s tantalising cross past Mvogo. Lorient were down, but they weren’t out.

Mvogo, who in the words of Hütter had a “dream” performance, saved his most spectacular save until mid-way into the second half as he denied Maghnes Akliouche’s acrobatic volleyed effort with an equally impressive and instinctive stop that kept Lorient in the tie.

Monaco would come to rue their missed chances. “We have to take the right moments to kill the opponent and prevent them from coming back,” bemoaned Hütter post-match, but once again, his side failed to do so.

With Denis Zakaria being sent off late in the match for an “unprofessional” foul, which earned him a second yellow, Lorient were handed the momentum in the final minutes. However, Aiyegun Tosin’s clumsy challenge on Singo also earned him a red in the 89th minute, levelling the playing field.

“It feels like a nightmare” – Hütter

Monaco looked set to see out the match and secure their first victory at the Stade Louis II in 2024, however, it was not to be with Bakayoko, who played 115 times for Les Monégasques across two spells, nodding home in almost the last kick of the game.

As a sign of respect for his former side, Bakayoko didn’t celebrate, but his teammates certainly did, with the technical staff also bursting onto the field. For Les Merlus, mired in a battle for survival at the bottom of Ligue 1, that point could be crucial come the end of the season.

Monaco have now dropped four points against Lorient this season, both times ceding their advantage in the dying seconds. That could prove costly come the end of the season with Monaco missing a “big, big chance” to leapfrog Brest into second.

“The team that was much much better did not win. We had five big, big chances to score and then we could have been talking about a fantastic victory […] Today, yes, it was a big, big chance and we missed it. But we keep working in the last eight games to get the best result. It’s in our hands and that’s important. To not win this game, it feels like a nightmare,” reacted Hütter, who will be looking for a reaction from his players when they face Metz in a fortnight.


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Photo source: AS Monaco