With Radamel Falcao missing, AS Monaco could not break down Montpellier Hérault SC's mean defence in a 0-0 draw at the Stade de la Mosson on Saturday.
Montpellier Hérault SC 0 - 0 AS Monaco
Monaco had hoped to have skipper Falcao back after injury for this game but it came too soon for the Colombian, so Keita Baldé led the reigning champions' attack here. But, for all their attacking potential, Leonardo Jardim's side could not break down the best defence in Ligue 1 Conforama.
After a first half in which genuine chances were non-existent, Monaco did step things up after the break, with Jorge seeing a powerful long-range effort tipped over by Benjamin Lecomte (52').
Thomas Lemar's well-struck free-kick was stopped by Lecomte (73'), and the goalkeeper came to Montpellier's rescue again late on with a superb save to keep out a Kévin N'Doram header from point-blank range (78'). Rachid Ghezzal also came close from a late free-kick for the visitors, who failed to score for just the third time in a league game this season.
This result ended a run of six straight wins in all competitions for Monaco, who lose ground on Olympique de Marseille in the race for a top-three finish before waiting to see what their other rivals do on Sunday.
It was the second time this season that Montpellier had held the champions, and the teams can look forward to another battle in the Coupe de la Ligue semi-finals at the Stade Louis on January 31.
THE PLAYER: Benjamin Lecomte
Back after being rested for the Coupe de la Ligue win at Angers SCO on Wednesday, Lecomte rescued Montpellier on several occasions in the second half as Michel Der Zakarian's side kept a 10th clean sheet in the league this season.
THE STAT: 200
This was Leonardo Jardim's 200th game in charge of Monaco, his 134th in the league. He will soon pass Didier Deschamps' mark of 208 games at the helm, leaving him behind only two club legends. Arsène Wenger oversaw 349 games as coach of Monaco, a spell that included a league title in 1988 and a Coupe de France in 1991. Lucien Leduc - who won three league titles and the Coupe de France twice, including the double in 1963 - is also ahead of Jardim.