Chabbert stars as Monaco hold PSG
By A. Scott
Heroic goalkeeping from stand-in Sébastien Chabbert helped Monaco to claim an important point against Mevlut Erding and Paris Saint-Germain at the Stade Louis II.
Saturday, 7 May
AS Monaco 1-1 Paris Saint-Germain
PSG have a miserable record in Monaco, and were looking for only their fourth win here in 36 visits. However, Antoine Kombouaré’s side travelled south boosted by a five-match unbeaten run which had allowed them to pile the pressure on Lyon in the chase for third place. With a busy week ahead, Kombouaré decided to leave Mamadou Sakho, Ludovic Giuly and Guillaume Hoarau on the bench at kick-off, while Grégory Coupet started in goal. Monaco, who were themselves looking to build on a decent run of results which had allowed them some breathing space in a crowded relegation battle, were missing captain Stéphane Ruffier through injury, so Chabbert made his full debut in goal.
Both teams started reasonably well, but the visitors looked the more dangerous. Chabbert was first called into action to keep out Mevlut Erding’s deflected shot with an unorthodox save at his near-post as the midway point of the first-half approached. The Monaco ‘keeper then denied Erding again moments later with a fine save after the Turk had been played in by Mathieu Bodmer.
Adriano pops up again
The home side were under the cosh, but it was they who took the lead against the run of play on 25 minutes. Adriano has popped up with his share of important goals this season, and the Brazilian was the hero again as he stole a march on Zoumana Camara to help a Lukman Haruna free-kick on its way into the net as Grégory Coupet stood motionless in goal.
PSG nearly equalised moments later when a Marcos Ceará cross from the right was nodded down into the path of Bodmer inside the area. The former Lyon man slipped possession to Clément Chantôme and his stabbed effort from close range was superbly turned over by Chabbert.
Christophe Jallet then saw a header brush the frame of the goal, and Paris were left to curse their luck, and Chabbbert, as the sides went in at half-time. However, the visitors began the second period as they had ended the first, and got their just reward within six minutes. Vincent Muratori could only help Sylvain Armand’s centre on to Erding, and this time the Turk’s powerful shot gave Chabbert no chance.
It was the former Sochaux striker’s seventh league goal of the season, and one that he hoped would be a springboard for Paris to go on and win the game. However, this was to be Chabbert’s night, as the 32 year-old proved with two more crucial saves from Erding. First, he came off his line to turn an effort from the Turk away after Bodmer had played the ball through. Then, he pulled off a terrific point-blank save after Erding had risen to meet Siaka Tiéné’s left-wing cross.
Monaco ended the game with their backs very much to the wall, and the statistics tell a story. PSG enjoyed 67 percent of the possession and had three times as many shots as their hosts. However, Chabbert ensured that the men from the capital once again returned from the Stade Louis II without the win. The point is good enough to take them provisionally up into third, and they will now be looking for bitter rivals Marseille to do them a favour against Lyon on Sunday. Meanwhile, Monaco take another precious point, but remain too close to the relegation zone for comfort.