Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira shared the spoils in their reunion on Wednesday, as AS Monaco and OGC Nice drew 1-1 in the Côte d'Azur derby.
AS Monaco 1 - 1 OGC Nice
Goals: 0-1 Saint-Maximin (30'), 1-1 B. Badiashile (50')
An always keenly contested derby had been hotly anticipated since Henry's appointment by Monaco in October, which raised the prospect of a clash against his old friend Vieira, in charge at Nice since last summer.
Postponed in December, the game finally went ahead and Henry and Vieira were able to embrace by the pitch before kick-off. Both men will be pleased with the efforts put in by their teams, but both will be able to argue that their sides ought to have won the game.
Nice went in front half an hour in, Adrien Tameze intercepting a Youssef Aït Bennasser pass in midfield before Allan Saint-Maximin broke away from Jemerson and ran through to score against his former club.
However, the visitors - for whom Mario Balotelli was absent - were dealt a major blow when they were reduced to 10 men on the stroke of half-time. Ihsan Sacko's left his studs in on Benjamin Henrichs, and referee Benoît Bastien issued a red card following a VAR review (45+2').
Saint-Maximin misses penalty
Monaco made the most of their one-man advantage as they drew level shortly after the restart. Benoît Badiashile's header from a Rony Lopes corner appeared to have been brilliantly kept out by goalkeeper Walter Benítez, but the referee pointed to his watch, indicating that goal-line technology had proven that the ball had just crossed the line (50').
Still Nice could have won it, however. The referee awarded a penalty when Youcef Atal went down in the box under a Badiashile challenge, and upheld his decision following another VAR review. However, Saint-Maximin saw his kick saved by Diego Benaglio (77')
Monaco then almost snatched victory as Radamel Falcao, on as a substitute, crashed a shot against the post with six minutes left, and the final scoreline meant Henry and Vieira were able to embrace again and exchange warm smiles after the whistle.
THE PLAYER: Allan Saint-Maximin
Signed by Nice from Monaco, the rapid 21-year-old forward is the main goal threat in Vieira's side with the misfiring Balotelli nowhere to be seen. He marked this game by putting the visitors ahead with his fifth of the season, only to later miss that crucial penalty.
THE STAT: 230
That is the combined number of caps won for France by Henry (123) and Vieira (107). More pertinently, Vieira has now lost just once in 10 Ligue 1 Conforama matches with Nice, but has also overseen only one win in six. Henry, meanwhile, has only two wins in 11 league games in charge, and Monaco have still not won a home game this season.