Melvin Bard, Gelson Martins, Nice, Monaco
Match Reports

Nice and Monaco share derby spoils

Publish on 19/09/2021 at 15:40 - I. HOLYMAN


Nice's Amine Gouiri missed a late penalty as Wissam ben Yedder buried a spot-kick to give Monaco a 2-2 draw at the home of their Côte d'Azur derby rivals on Sunday.


As a consequence of the incidents that had marred Nice's abandoned home game with Marseille, the Allianz Riviera was empty as the two teams emerged into the sunshine, watched only by the billionaire owners of their respective clubs, Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Dimitri Rybolovlev.


It was the latter whose Monaco side had the better of the first half. A Ben Yedder header stretched Walter Benitez (26') before Aleksandr Golovin became the first man to find a way past the Nice goalkeeper in Ligue 1 Uber Eats this season.


Benitez came into the game as the only custodian in Europe's top five leagues not to have conceded a goal in 2021/22, but he lost that record as Golovin slid in at the back post to connect with Gelson Martins' low cross after a slick piece of Ben Yedder play had opened up the home defence (39').


Nice boss Christophe Galtier did not tweak his side at the break but certainly saw his team emerge after the interval with firmer intentions, and they were soon transformed into an equaliser by Andy Delort.


The summer arrival from Montpellier had replaced Kasper Dolberg early (14') after the Denmark international suffered an injury, and teamed up with Gouiri as he had done for Nice's second goal against Nantes last weekend. Released down the left, Gouiri picked out his strike partner, who rose to head home his first goal for his new club and his third of the season (51').


Delort threatened again (70') before Nice moved in front. Gouiri burst forward before finding Delort — his low ball was dummied by his strike partner and fell kindly for Hicham Boudaoui to sweep in his second league goal of the season (73').


No sooner had the hosts seized the initiative, however, than they were pegged back. Caio Henrique was tripped just inside the penalty area by Calvin Stengs and Ben Yedder emphatically fired home the spot-kick (77') to open his top-flight account this term. 


The penalty had been confirmed by a VAR review, and it took another, longer check of the pictures to give Nice an opportunity to win the game. A Delort shot struck Benoît Badiashile on the hand, and though referee François Letexier initially waved away penalty claims, VAR and Letexier himself looked at the images before pointing to the spot (82'). Gouiri, though, fired wide as Nice passed up the chance to move second in the table.


THE PLAYER: Andy Delort

Galtier had said he did not think he could play the new signing with Dolberg and Gouiri from the start, but Delort showed again that he can link up with the latter, in particular. His physical presence and aerial threat give Nice options they did not have before.



This was Monaco's 11th competitive game of the season already, a reason why Niko Kovac made seven changes to the starting XI that defeated Sturm Graz 1-0 in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday.