Sun, Apr 03, 2016 - Page 19 News List

Bordeaux frustrate Monaco’s advance

FATIGUE:Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim blamed the 2-1 loss on it following the international break, saying his side’s players and substitutes were tired

AFP, PARIS

Girondins de Bordeaux’s Adam Ounas, left, and AS Monaco’s Andrea Raggi vie for control of the ball in their Ligue 1 match at the Stade Louis II in Monaco on Friday.

Photo: EPA

AS Monaco’s march toward Champions League qualification in Ligue 1 was slowed on Friday as they slumped to a 2-1 defeat at home to struggling Girondins de Bordeaux at the Stade Louis II.

Goals in each half from Thomas Toure and Adam Ounas were enough for the away side before a Frederic Guilbert own-goal gave Monaco a late consolation in the principality.

Monaco had looked certainties to finish second and secure automatic qualification for next season’s Champions League thanks to an eight-game unbeaten run that included a 2-0 win away at champions Paris Saint-Germain in their last outing.

However, this first home league defeat since September last year means third-placed OGC Nice can close to within two points if they can win at PSG, while fourth-placed Olympique Lyonnais will also hope to put the pressure on when they visit Lorient today.

“We weren’t at the required level,” Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim said. “I spoke of the difficulties of playing this match right after the international break. The players were tired, the substitutes were tired.”

Bordeaux took the lead at the end of the first half when Fabinho inadvertently helped on a corner at the near post and the unmarked Toure lashed the ball into the roof of the net at the back post.

An almost identical goal allowed Bordeaux to double their lead before the hour mark as a corner came all the way to the back post, where Ounas was this time unmarked and stabbed past goalkeeper Danijel Subasic.

Monaco had a chance to get one back in stoppage time when they were awarded a penalty for a Cedric Yambere foul on Guido Carrillo.

Vagner Love stepped up to take it, but saw his effort saved, and although he converted the follow-up, the goal was disallowed, apparently for encroachment into the area by one of his teammates.

However, the hosts did get one back, with Jerome Prior saving a Carrillo header only for the ball to rebound in off Guilbert.

Nevertheless, Bordeaux were not to be denied a first win in six games and a third victory against Monaco this season that allows Ulrich Rame’s team to move nine points clear of the relegation zone.

BUNDESLIGA

AP, BERLIN

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez on Friday played only 30 minutes as he led Bayer 04 Leverkusen to a 3-0 win over VfL Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga, boosting the side’s chances of Champions League soccer next season.

Julian Brandt, 19, opened the scoring against his former club in the 27th minute, shooting inside the far post after playing a simple one-two with Hakan Calhanoglu to outfox the Wolfsburg defense.

Calhanoglu came close to making it 2-0 after the break, shooting just wide after Brandt set him up with a classy back-heel.

Wolfsburg failed to seriously trouble Bernd Leno in the Leverkusen goal and might have already been distracted by Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg against Real Madrid.

Leverkusen captain Lars Bender played an hour on his return from months out after ankle surgery and a hamstring injury. He was given a standing ovation when he came off for Chicharito in the 61st. The Mexico striker sealed the result 12 minutes later with an impressive curling strike in off the far post from about 25m.

Chicharito then laid the ball back for Vladlen Yurchenko to complete the scoring with three minutes remaining. It was another fine strike inside the right post and the Ukrainian midfielder’s first Bundesliga goal.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top