Lopes on target but Monaco held at Besiktas

UEFA Champions League

Rony Lopes found the net for AS Monaco but the Ligue 1 Conforama title-holders had to settle for a 1-1 draw at Besiktas JK on Wednesday.

Wednesday, 1 November, 2017

UEFA Champions League, Group G

Matchday 4

 Besiktas JK 1-1 AS Monaco

With just one win in their last six away trips in the competition, Monaco's task looked daunting enough in the intimidating atmosphere in Istanbul without also being deprived of the injured Radamel Falcao and Djibril Sidibé.

The French champions, who had picked up just a point from their three Group G games to date and had lost their last two, showed they wanted to live up to their billing as a side that had reached last season's semi-finals.

Thomas Lemar's corner was met by Youri Tielemans, who would have had the opening goal after 15 minutes but for his goalbound effort to fly straight into home goalkeeper Fabri.

Stevan Jovetic's vision created another opening — the Montenegro international's low cross was met by Lopes, but his short had the sting taken out of it by Adriano and Fabri gleefully pounced on the loose ball (37').

The Besiktas goalkeeper was beaten shortly before the break though. Joao Moutinho's industry won back possession, and the Portugal international played the ball forward to compatriot Lopes, who stylishly bent the ball beyond Fabri from the edge of the penalty area (45+1').


Ahead at the break, Monaco did not have long to enjoy their advantage. Jorge was outfoxed by Ricardo Quaresma, who tripped over the full-back's outstretched leg and Cenk Tosun slotted the spot-kick past Danijel Subasic for his fourth goal in as many UEFA Champions League matches this season (54').

Quaresma might have deepened Monaco's woes, but missed the target (58') while Andrea Raggi and Kamil Glik in quick succession had opportunities to restore Monaco's advantage (75') — the former actually saw his header cleared off the line by Oguzhan Ozyakup.

Though Ryan Babel passed up a good chance (80'), Monaco had the better of the closing stages as they pressed forward incessantly. The closest they came, however, was Jemerson's header from a Moutinho free-kick that was stopped by Fabri while Keita Baldé might have won it in added time only to lack a clinical streak just when Monaco needed it most (90+3').

With just two points from their four group games to date, Jardim's men will watch the game between Porto and Leipzig - on three and four points respectively - later this evening with fingers crossed. So will Besiktas as they will qualify for the Last 16 if Leipzig win.

THE PLAYER: Joao Moutinho
The experienced midfielder rose to the challenge, not only supplying the pass for Lopes to score, but also getting through a significant amout of work in the centre of the pitch.

This was only the second Champions League group game that Monaco have failed to win in 16 in which they have led at half-time.

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