Monaco throw away two-goal lead, fall behind PSG


Tue, Oct 22, 2013 - Page 18

AS Monaco fell two points behind league leaders Paris Saint-Germain after wasting a two-goal lead in their 2-2 draw at struggling Sochaux-Montbeliard on Sunday.

Unbeaten Monaco looked set for another win when Belgian winger Yannick Ferreira Carrasco scored twice in the first 10 minutes, but Sochaux coach Herve Renard — who guided Zambia to the Africa Cup of Nations title last year — saw his team pull a goal back in the 57th minute through striker Cedric Bakambu and midfielder Joseph Loby equalized in the 69th.

“At 2-0 up, we should have kept playing like we had in the opening 15 minutes to kill the game off,” Monaco midfielder Jeremy Toulalan said. “We didn’t do that and they took full advantage.”

Winger Ferreira Carrasco opened the scoring in the fifth minute when James Rodriguez set him up from the left and he finished powerfully from close range. He added another after Brazilian defender Carlao’s back-pass to the goalkeeper fell short.

“Our two goals were marvelous and then, ‘click,’ it’s all over,” Monaco coach Claudio Ranieri said. “That’s football.”

Sochaux’s goals came from corners, highlighting Monaco’s vulnerability at set-pieces. Rafael Dias took both corners, the first from the left as Bakambu got the better of the Monaco defense, and the second from the right as Lopy headed home at the back post after losing his marker.

Monaco’s top scorer Radamel Falcao missed a late chance to win the game when his mishit effort rolled wide of the post.

Monaco centerhalf Eric Abidal pulled out moments before the game after complaining of a thigh problem.

“It’s nothing serious,” Abidal said.

AS Saint-Etienne climbed up to seventh place after a 3-2 win against Lorient.

The hosts raced into a 2-0 lead after 14 minutes thanks to goals from Brazilian striker Brandao — returning from a thigh injury — and winger Benjamin Corgnet.

Yoann Jouffre pulled a goal back for Lorient shortly before halftime, but Max-Alain Gradel restored Saint-Etienne’s cushion with 20 minutes to go.

Vincent Aboubakar pulled a late goal back for the visitors.

Also on Sunday, forward Jimmy Briand scored in stoppage-time as 10-man Olympique Lyonnais salvaged a 1-1 draw at home to Girondins de Bordeaux.

Midfielder Ludovic Obraniak put the visitors ahead in the 62nd minute when he volleyed in a cross at the far post. Bordeaux striker Cheick Diabate missed a free header moments later.

Things got even worse for Lyon when Alexandre Lacazette was shown a second yellow card and sent off in the 66th minute.

Briand missed a chance to equalize when his header went straight at goalkeeper Cedric Carrasso, but he made up for it in the dying seconds when he slotted home a rebound after Carrasso had saved Nabil Fekir’s shot.

“We dropped off too much and it’s unbelievable to concede a goal like that,” Bordeaux forward Henri Saivet said. “Everyone has to do their job and, I’m sorry, we didn’t do that.”

“We need to get some of our experienced players back,” Lyon coach Remi Garde said. “We all have to stick together.”