Monaco misses chance to pressure leaders after 1-1 draw
PARIS (AP) — Fourth-place Monaco missed the chance to keep the pressure on the top three in the French league after being held to a 1-1 home draw by Saint-Etienne on Friday.
Turkey striker Mevlut Erding put Saint-Etienne ahead in the 62nd minute, but six minutes later teenage striker Anthony Martial grabbed his fifth league goal in the past four games to make it 1-1.
“We opened the scoring (so) we’re a bit disappointed about missing out on the three points,” Erding said. “But it’s still good to get a draw here. We played well tonight, it’s a logical result.”
The draw leaves Monaco, which faces Italian side Juventus in the Champions League quarterfinals later this month, three points behind Marseille, four behind Lyon and five adrift of leader Paris Saint-Germain.
Lyon is away to mid-table Giungamp on Saturday and Marseille hosts bitter rival PSG on Sunday at Stade Velodrome.
Saint-Etienne had the better chances in the opening 25 minutes, with Monaco goalkeeper Danijel Subasic stopping efforts from midfielder Fabien Lemoine and striker Kevin Monnet-Paquet.
But Monaco hit back and, after Portugal midfielder Joao Moutinho whipped in a cross, Brazilian forward Matheus Carvalho went close with a glancing header.
Monaco started the second half strongly with left back Layvin Kurzawa and veteran forward Dimitar Berbatov both going close, but the visitors went ahead through Erding’s seventh league goal of the campaign.
Martial, who has been one of the revelations of the season, equalized with a crisp left-footed volley from Kurzawa’s left-wing cross.
“I try and give my all every time I play,” said Martial, who scored two minutes after replacing Carvalho. “The important thing was not to lose tonight. We’ll try and make up for it against Montpellier (on Tuesday night).”
Monaco had a scare in the third minute of injury time, when Saint-Etienne right back Francois Clerc’s powerful shot flew just over the crossbar.