Profligate Monaco held in Marseille

AS Monaco came away from the Stade Vélodrome with a point but will have been disappointed not to have earned more for their impressive efforts against Olympique de Marseille on Saturday.

By any team’s standards, a draw away to Marseille is considered a solid result. However, Monaco’s 1-1 draw is a scant reward for a match largely dominated, particularly in the first half.

The Principality side should have headed into the break three goals up, not just one. Jordan Veretout’s own goal from a Caio Henrique free-kick gave Monaco the lead, however, that should have been supplemented by at least another goal, and would have been if not for some profligate finishing from the usually prolific Wissam Ben Yedder.

Ruben Blanco, in for the injured Pau Lopez, got the better of the striker, who during the last match scored a hat-trick. Vanderson was also just inches away from adding to the score, but going in just one up at the break, the game was still very much alive.

Alexis Sanchez reminded them of that just two minutes into the second half. Alexander Nübel parried a Nuno Tavares shot right into the past of the Chilean international, who in one swift blow undid all of Les Monégasques’ good work.

Marseille, with the cauldron that is the Stade Vélodrome ignited, began to push. Leonardo Balerdi struck the bar later in the second period, but neither side could find a winner. Monaco couldn’t avenge their late defeat to Les Phocéens back in November, but they at least prevented them from increasing the gap between themselves and the podium.

“The score could have been 0-2, 0-3, or 0-4 at half-time, but we lacked efficiency. We should have killed the match, but we should still be proud of what we did,” lamented Philippe Clement post-match.

The fixture list doesn’t get too much easier for Monaco, who face Auxerre at the Stade Louis II on Wednesday before facing Paris Saint-Germain, OGC Nice and Bayer Leverkusen twice in a hectic February schedule.


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Photo by AS Monaco