Angers SCO battled back from two goals down to snatch a 2-2 draw against Montpellier Hérault SC, with Stéphane Bahoken having the final say at the Stade de la Mosson.
Montpellier Hérault SC 2-2 Angers SCO
Montpellier won their first match in five on Tuesday, coming from behind to beat Girondins de Bordeaux, and looked keen to pick up where they left off against Angers. Less than five minutes were gone when Andy Delort made it 1-0, meeting Gaëtan Laborde's cutback to stroke home his tenth goal of the campaign (3'). Angers then threatened the hosts with a pair of chances, but Flavien Tait was blocked by Hilton (5') before Benjamin Lecomte flew across his goal to deny Thomas Mangani (9'). La Paillade pulled further clear soon after, Ellyes Skhiri - benched for the Bordeaux game - getting free in the Angers box before making it 2-0 with meaning (16'). The Tunisia midfielder nearly doubled his tally in similar fashion minutes later, but his effort flew wide (19'). Florent Mollet was the next try his luck, his free-kick turned around for a corner by Ludovic Butelle (21'), but Angers proved dogged opponents and Tait, who score two against AS Monaco in the 2-2 draw last Saturday, was determined to continue his personal scoring run. The winger dribbled past three markers before curling an effort just off target (30') before forcing a save from Lecomte with another free-kick (38'). Bahoken nearly embarrassed Lecomte when he dispossessed the 'keeper at the end of the half, but he shot wide (39').
Angers coach Stéphane Moulin sent Jeff Reine-Adélaïde on for the second half in place of Cheikh N'Doye (46') and the extra width served them well, but not before Butelle had stopped Montpellier from putting the game beyond doubt with a save from Laborde (56'). Angers soon settled, though, and Reine-Adélaïde was inches away from a goal of the season contender when he let fly from outside the box, but the former Arsenal man's effort didn't dip in time to find the top corner (62'). Lecomte was to prove the busier of the two 'keepers in the second half, and he pulled off a superb save to keep Tait's volley out past the hour (66'). Bahoken then broke through for a one-on-one minutes later, but Lecomte raced off his line to deny the striker (68'). Angers were reduced to ten men when Mateo Pavlovic was given a straight red card for hauling down Delort as the last man (73'). But instead of letting their heads go down, Angers played with their tails up for the final ten minutes, and once Angelo Fulgini had reduced the arrears (80'), he turned provider for Bahoken, slipping the ball through for the OGC Nice academy graduate, who rounded Lecomte and steered home into an empty net (90+2').
THE PLAYER: Angelo Fulgini
This hasn't been the easiest of campaigns for Fulgini, who has started less than half of his 22 appearances and even spent some time with the reserves earlier in the year. Competition from Tait and Reine-Adélaïde for the wide attacking berths haven't helped his cause, but on this performance he should be the first name on the team sheet. Fulgini's embodied his team's never-say-die attitude, with his goal and assist showing how ruthlessly efficient he can be.
THE STAT: 1,000
This was Montpellier's 1,000th French top-flight appearance, and although they didn't end it the way they might have hoped, their 299th draw leaves them just two points worse off than Olympique de Marseille, who occupy the fourth and final European place with ten games left to play.