Cesc Fabregas scored the late winner from the penalty spot as AS Monaco came from two goals down to beat Paris Saint-Germain 3-2 on Friday after Kylian Mbappé struck twice for the champions.
AS Monaco 3-2 Paris Saint-Germain
With Mbappé back in the starting line-up after a hamstring problem and Neymar Jr. back on the bench following an injury of his own, PSG took to the field in the principality chasing a ninth consecutive Ligue 1 Uber Eats win that would have seen them go provisionally eight points clear.
They got off to the ideal start, as Angel Di Maria released Mbappé to race away from Axel Disasi and fire home (25’). PSG then won a penalty when Rafinha was fouled in the area by Youssouf Fofana, and Mbappé stepped up to score from 12 yards to move onto 99 goals in a Paris shirt (37’).
Indeed he could have been celebrating a century soon after, but both he and Moise Kean had further strikes disallowed before half-time, and the second half was a different story entirely.
Volland double, Diallo off
Monaco pulled a goal back seven minutes after the restart as Gelson Martins set up Kevin Volland to score from close range, and the German international forward was left with a tap-in to make it 2-2 in the 65th minute after substitute Fabregas beat Keylor Navas to a ball into the box.
The game was then decided by a late moment of clumsiness from Abdou Diallo. The defender, facing his old club, got himself into a tangle on the edge of his own area and then pulled down Volland in the box. A penalty was awarded, and Diallo’s yellow card was upgraded to red after a VAR review. Fabregas then converted from the spot to hand Monaco the three points (84’).
Niko Kovac’s team move provisionally up to second in the table, four points behind PSG, with this a stunning success for the principality side, especially as they were without Wissam Ben Yedder due to a positive coronavirus test.
THE PLAYER: Cesc Fabregas
Kovac was glowing in his praise of Fabregas after the game. The Spanish midfielder may no longer be a first pick but he is the model professional and here he played a central role in Monaco’s second-half comeback after coming off the bench. He could claim an assist for Volland’s equaliser and then he kept a cool head to score the winner from the penalty spot.
THE STAT: 99
Kylian Mbappé’s brace means he has now scored 99 goals in a PSG shirt. He moves up above Mustapha Dahleb (98) into fifth place in the club’s list of all-time leading scorers. Only Edinson Cavani (200), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (156), Pauleta (109) and Dominique Rocheteau (100) remain ahead of him. The France World Cup winner has nine goals for the season in Ligue 1 from just seven appearances.