Romain Faivre netted a dramatic late equaliser against his former club as FC Lorient rescued a point against AS Monaco (2-2) after Folarin Balogun's first goal for the Principality club had looked to have settled the tie.
Monaco are no strangers to going behind away from home this season. They did so against Clermont and Nantes, ultimately recovering to salvage a combined four points from those two games, and if they were to get anything against Lorient, they would have to do the same. Tosin Aiyegun needed just seconds to open his account as Lorient player, latching onto a brilliant Eli Junior Kroupi ball to dink past Philipp Köhn (1’), with a little help from the post.
However, Les Monégasques quickly seized control of the match, and whilst they struggled to create clear-cut opportunities, Wissam Ben Yedder almost levelled with a smart volley from a tight angle (6’). Monaco did level thanks to a sumptuous collective effort. Youssouf Fofana’s first-team chipped ball over the top was perfectly weighted for Aleksandr Golovin, who controlled before beating Yvon Mvogo (17’).
Balogun nets first Monaco goal
The rhythm of the game was quickly set. Monaco would control possession, but Lorient would look to threaten with long balls over the top in transition. It was a well-utilised tactic by Régis Le Bris’ side, who managed to manufacture some dangerous situations.
Monaco continued to threaten after the break, with two half chances falling to Fofana, drawing two saves from Mvogo (48’, 51’) in the Lorient goal. Whilst the Principality club were timidly knocking at the door, they were far from knocking it down. That changed with the entry of Folarin Balogun, who needed just three minutes to get on the scoreline (69’). The USMNT striker did well to work a shooting position before blasting past Mvogo from a tight angle.
However, it wouldn’t prove to be the winner. With the final kick of the game, Faivre latched onto Isaak Touré’s knock-down, blasting past Köhn on the half-volley to level the scores at 2-2 (90+8'). Regardless, Monaco remain top of the table, a place that they will retain regardless of results elsewhere this weekend.
THE PLAYER: Folarin Balogun
The former Arsenal forward only needed three minutes to make his mark on the game, netting his first goal for the Principality club in clinical style. Hütter is insistent that Balogun is not in competition with Ben Yedder for a starting spot, but if he were, he certainly made a strong argument for starting in place of the Frenchman against OGC Nice next week.
THE STAT: 15
Monaco have been a free-flowing attacking machine in these opening matchdays, scoring 15 goals in the first five games of the Ligue 1 Uber Eats season, including two against Lorient on Sunday. It is the highest tally registered in the history of the Principality club at this stage of the season.