Monaco missed the chance to return to the top four after Benjamin Moukandjo scored a late equaliser to help Reims draw last season’s Ligue 1 runner-up 1-1 at the Stade Louis II on Friday.
Uwa Echiejile scored the opening goal of the night for Monaco in the 20th minute but despite a sustained spell of resistance, the home side were unable to hold on to their slender lead, with Moukandjo finding the net to claim a 1-1 draw with 10 minutes remaining. The result saw Monaco climb to seventh place in the overall standings ahead of the rest of the weekend fixtures while Reims moved up into 12th.
Monaco’s goal was very much a team effort, with six players involved before Valere Germain freed Bernardo Silva on the right, who crossed the ball to the far post where Echiejile volleyed in from a tight angle. The home side had two more good chances before the half-time whistle, with Anthony Martial’s low shot denied by Reims goalkeeper Johny Placide before he was again kept out with a strike from the edge of the box.
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After the break it was again all Monaco, with Germain missing the target by a matter of inches in the 47th minute before Placide pulled off a stunning reflex save to deny Ricardo Carvalho’s header shortly afterwards. Lacina Traore then narrowly missed with his strike from the middle of the penalty area as Monaco were unable to build on their first-half lead.
They were made to rue their profligacy in the 80th minute when Reims scored on the counter-attack after surviving Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco’s run forward and shot, which the excellent Placide again denied by punching it clear.
Reims striker Gaetan Charbonnier collected the loose ball and released Nicolas De Preville on the right wing, who flicked the ball to the far post where the awaiting Moukandjo beat Danijel Subasic from close range.