Monaco’s Portuguese midfielder Joao Moutinho (left) vies with Lorient’s forward Gilles Sunu during the French L1 match at Le Moustoir Stadium in Lorient, western France, yesterday.
PARIS: Monaco saw their championship chances dented yesterday as they were forced to come back twice before snatching a 2-2 draw at Lorient to fall five points behind Paris Saint-Germain.
It took an 88th minute equaliser from Layvin Kurzawa to save pride for Claudio Ranieri’s men as the visitors were staring down the barrel of defeat with time running out. Lorient, who came into the match in 10th spot and within touching distance of the European places, took a shock lead on 13 minutes when Monaco failed to clear a corner kick.
Kevin Monnet-Paquet picked up the loose ball following a poor clearance and whipped in a cross that Cameroon striker Vincent Aboubakar met with a firm header to beat Croatian ‘keeper Danijel Subasic.
However with half-time looming, Ranieri’s men equalised on 41 minutes thanks to a clinical finish from Valere Germain.
Emmanuel Riviere was the catalyst as he broke into the penalty area before laying off a perfect pass for Germain who made no mistake from close range.
The second half provided a more balanced affair with both teams struggling to create clean scoring chances before Jeremie Aliadiere appeared to grab the winner with 17 minutes left.
The striker who began his career at Arsenal before spells at Celtic, West Ham, Wolves and Middlesbrough banged the ball home from a rebound to pile the pressure on Monaco before Kurzawa came to their rescue.
Monaco now know next Sunday’s home clash against Paris Saint-Germain is a must-win situation with their deficit increased to five points after the leaders defeated Bordeaux 2-0 on Friday.
On Friday, Yohan Cabaye, signed from Newcastle 48 hours earlier, came on as a second half substitute and hit the bar with a header in Paris Saint Germain’s 2-0 defeat of Bordeaux.
PSG manager Laurent Blanc introduced Cabaye, who arrived from the Premier League on a reported 23 million euros deal, to the Parc des Princes in the 68th minute.
The 28-year-old France international wasted no time in making his presence felt, in icy wet conditions, with an attempt flying off the crossbar of Bordeaux keeper Cedric Carrasso.AFP