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France - Ligue 1
February 9, 2014
• Stade Louis II., Monaco
Referee: S. Lannoy
• Attendance: 16384
Thiago Silva 74' (own goal)
J. Pastore 8'
90' + 3'
FULL-TIME: AS Monaco 1-1 Paris Saint-Germain. It ends here, with a draw.
90' + 2'
Ferreira Carrasco attempts an effort from distance, blocked by Thiago ilav. Deep cross in from Fabinho, and it's an easy save for the goalkeeper. Just over a minute to go.
90' + 1'
We're into the first of three additional minutes.
SUBASIC!! TOP SAVE from Ibrahimovic. The Swede performs a great bit of control before being thwarted, but what was Abidal doing? Decides not to clear the ball and attempts to turn back and run near the goal-line. Luckily, Lavezzi misses!
Corner wasted, as the ball goes out of play, but with regards to that Fabinho shot, perhaps he took a couple of extra touches. Stunning effort nonetheless.
FABINHO!! Stunning save from Sirigu. Berbatov with a lovely inside ball towards Fabinho, and he strikes at goal, with a top save against the Brazilian full-back.
Coming to the end of a really interesting game here at Stade Louis II. Should it remain the same, PSG will be five clear of Monaco, and a further six from Lille. This time last year, the difference was six between PSG and Lyon.
SUBSTITUTION - Monaco: Yannick Ferreira Carrasco is on for James Rodriguez.
Headed away by Ibrahimovic of all people, as the loose ball finds its way towards Moutinho, whose second attempt rolls out for a goal-kick.
Berbatov and Fabinho combine well down the wing, and the right-back wins a corner for his efforts to the amazement of Thiago Silva. Right decision, but what can Monaco engineer?
SUBSTITUTION - PSG: Ezequiel Lavezzi comes on for a rather disappointing Lucas Moura. Lavezzi still has not played a full 90 minutes in Ligue 1 this season.
Play stopped briefly after Joao Moutinho receives some medical attention after a strong challenge from Matuidi. Lavezzi warming up, think he will be the third and final chance of the night.
SUBASIC! Wonderful save, at the second attempt. A dangerous cross from Menez, and the Croatian goalkeeper races off his line to chase the loose ball under pressure from Moura.
PSG have kept their foot off the gas, with neither Ibrahimovic or Lucas Moura shining. What can Blanc do to remedy the situation? Bring on Lavezzi?
A roar goes up from those inside Stade Louis II, with a fine equaliser from the Monegasques. They've persevered, and deserve their leveller.
Own Goal Thiago Silva
GOAL!! Monaco 1-1 PSG!! FABINHO! The equaliser is there for the hosts! Low cross from Fabinho and inadvertently turned in by captain Thiago Silva. 1-1, GAME ON!
Monaco are tracking back off the PSG forwards as Menez holds the ball waiting for support to arrive. Attempts to pick out Ibrahimovic, but he is unsuccessful.
Monaco have a rather simple next few games, with only Saint-Etienne, who are fourth, sure to provide such stern opposition. PSG meanwhile, after Valenciennes this weekend, travel to Germany to face Bayer Leverkusen, then away to Toulouse, and then Le Classique, v Olympique de Marseille.
James Rodriguez picks up the ball from Joao Moutinho after a neat piece of skill from Dimitar Berbatov. Rodriguez with a lob over towards Kurzawa approaching on the left, but that is cut out.
Corner to Monaco. Drifted in well from the left from Thiago Motta, and it'swell caught out by Subasic, who flaps at it slightly, before beign cleared by Layvin Kurzawa.
SUBSTITUTION - PSG: Jeremy Menez, the ex-Monaco forward is on for goalscorer Javier Pastore.
SUBSTITUTION: PSG - Marco Verratti is off for Yohan Cabaye.
SUBSTITUTION - MONACO: Valere Germain off for Dimitar Berbatov. The Bulgarian forward makes his Ligue 1 debut after his transfer from Fulham.
Rodriguez claims the ball on the wing and makes a neat run down the wing, towards Germain or Riviere waiting in the middle, but the ball is cleanly cut out.
SIRIGU!! What a mess! Lucky to get away with that huge error. The usually calm goalkeeper allows the ball to bounce way over his head with Riviere behind him. Luckily reclaims the ball.
Kurzawa becoming more involved in this game, taking the match to Van der Wiel on the right flank. Another dangerous delivery, and it is dealt with.
Kurzawa with a rather threatening delivery from the left, and it goes all the way towards Riviere who throws himself at it, but Sirigu makes a save.
Monaco come forward through Kurzawa as the hosts engineer a couple of passing moves, but they cannot penetrate a solid PSG defence.
PSG still on the ball from the resulting corner, as Verratti whips in a lovely ball toward Pastore who is lurking in the six yard box. He heads it wide.
IBRAHIMOVIC!! What a strike and what a super save from Subasic. Ibrahimovic even applauds the goalkeeper's actions! Fizzes goalwards, and Subasic is sprawled in making a save to his right.
PSG smartly using the ball, as Lucas picks out Van der Wiel on the right, who asses his options before Moura is fouled by Moutinho in a really decent position.
Monaco forward through Toulalan, after the corner is headed over the bar by Ibrahimovic. As it stands, ASM are eight points off the top if PSG hold onto this 1-0 lead. Just under 40 minutes to go.
Second half begins with exactly the same attacking guile as the first one, as PSG win a corner after the ball is diverted behind. Thiago Motta to take this one, Alex and Silva up.
Monaco to a 4-3-1-2 it seems, with Kondogbia joining Toulalan and Moutinho in the middle, and Rodriguez operating behind the two strikers,Riviere and Germain.
Monaco's Prince Albert II and his wife Princess Charlene spotted in the crowd, with the head of state returning from the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia earlier today. The Royal Family were the former owners of the club & Albert II remains a big fan.
Lucas Ariel Ocampos
SUBSTITUTION: Lucas Ocampos is off, and is replaced by Geoffrey Kondogbia.
UNDERWAY in the second half. AS Monaco get us going attacking from left to right.
Change for AS Monaco at the break. They'll be altering from their 4-4-2 flat formation it seems.
ASM 0-1 PSG: Half-time in the big game of the Ligue 1 season. Pastore's eighth minute goal separates the sides, but Monaco have come very close, through Riviere. All to play for.
HALF-TIME: AS Monaco 0-1 Paris Saint-Germain.
Lucas Moura has a good chance to fashion an opening for Paris Saint-Germain, but his cross doesn't reach the intended target.
Rodrigueez continues to make in-roads on the wing, as he sets up an effort, before it is hoofed away by Gregory van der Wiel.
Yellow Card Marco Verratti
FABINHO! Monaco really having a go at this. The hosts want a penalty, but Fabinho pounces on the loose ball. Attempts a strike goalwards, and it's deflected away for a corner.
YELLOW CARD - Marco Verratti. As inevitable as it is, the Italy international gets a booking over a strong foul.
Yellow Card James Rodríguez
YELLOW CARD - James Rodriguez. A stinging challenge from the Colombia international who takes out Ibrahimovic, who in turn takes a tumble or five. Getting heated this one.
James Rodriguez races forward to put pressure on the PSG defence. Lobs a ball over the top for Fabinho to give chase. The Brazilian wins the ball, and finds Germain, whose cross into the box is headed away by Alex.
Yellow Card Ricardo Carvalho
Free-kick for PSG. Taken by Ibrahimovic. Takes a nick off of a defender and slows the ball considerably for Subasic to make a good save.
YELLOW CARD - Ricardo Carvalho. Carvalho penalised after conceding a foul for a strong challenge on Zlatan Ibrahimovic. And he is booked for his troubles.
PSG have 62% of possession, compared to Monaco's 38%. An impressive figure, but down on what they're used to in the last few games.
Oh, poor pass from Moutinho. Promising move from the hosts and with Ocampos attempting to make a run on the left. Hit it with too much power.
PASTORE!! What a chance to double his tally. Lovely ball from Verratti to pick out the Argentine, who embarks on a silky run past Abidal. Ibrahmovic in the middle, but he goes it alone, and strikes narrowly wide. Cue Ibrahimovic murderous glare.
Past the half-hour mark, and it's PSG who lead here in the Principality thanks to Pastore's eighth minute header. Motta meanwhile is upended by a challenge from Lucas Ocampos.
Fabinho powers down the right hand side, aiming to negotiate a cross into the middle, though Pastore races back in time to deflect the ball, and win a throw-in, to the utter disgust of the right back!
Pastore has remained down as Monaco attempt to utilise the man advantage and try and gain an equaliser. Play is eventually stopped, to the apparent jeers from those inside the stadium.
Lovely switch-up play with Ocampos, who is beginning to dazzle at the other end, getting onto the play at every opportunity. Can't find a team-mate, as the ball is intercepted.
IBRAHIMOVIC! Turned away by Danijel Subasic. Chant of "Ibra!" go up, but the Swede's powerful strike is well saved by the Croatian shotstopper. Corner to PSG.
Free-kick Paris Saint-Germain. Matuidi's dyanmic runs through the middle causing a bit of havoc, before Verratti is scythed down. Referee Lannoy gives a free-kick to the Parisiens.
Fantastic phase from Monaco, as Ocampos skips his way past Verratti with a couple of stepovers. Towards the right. Crossed in for Riviere or Germain in the box, but in the end, drilled over.
Slight lull in the tempo as Monaco now attempt to consolidate possession for a while. Layvin Kurzawa and Ocampos combine before switching the play towards Fabinho.
Matuidi giving Abidal a hard time on the far side, as the French midffielder holds off his compatriot to win a corner. Really open this game, a great spectacle thus far, as Abidal clears a dangerous ball from Pastore.
IBRAHIMOVIC! And it's the champions who have a golden chance spurned at the opposite end. Matuidi's dynamism helps him evade the challenge of the defender. Towards Ibrahimovic in the middle, but he lifts his shot wide.
RIVIERE AGAIN! Oh wow, he should've scored there! Blistering start this. Again the PSG defence is well beaten by the pace of the ASM forward line. Riviere denied by a stunning last ditch tackle from Silva.
RIVIERE!! That should be 1-1. Verratti caught on the ball and Monaco plough forward through Ocampos. Finds Riviere on his left after the shot is blocked, and the striker heads wide.
Corner to Monaco. Since the goal, it's all been going the Monegasques' way. Fabinho wins a corner off of Maxwell. Delievered in towards Carvalho, whose header is unsuccessful.
GERMAIN! Cleared at the death. Monaco continue to pose questions at the other end. A corner is drifted right in to the six yard box, and it is blasted away before the striker could connect with it.
Strong Monaco response!! They plough forward through Rodriguez, and with three Monaco players having attempts at goal - blocked by Alex and Thiago Silva, before it's hoofed away. There is urgency!
And it's the champions who have laid down the first marker against their nouveau riche upstarts. Monaco's defence very poor there, as Pastore had an age to head that in.
Goal Javier Pastore
GOAL!! MONACO 0-1 PSG!! PASTORE! What a way to score his first goal of the season! Corner from Motta helped on by Alex, and Pastore in the danger zone glances it past Subasic!
Well worked corner from the Parisiens, as Verratti delivers a crisp ball over the top for Thiago Silva to connect with on the edge. Comes off Germain, as Silva appeals for a handball. Not given.
Maxwell perseveres with a loose ball played by Pastore. Under pressure from Fabinho, and he wins a corner for his efforts. First of the game.
Nervy moment for Subasic, as he waits a while before hoofing the ball away with the strikers bearing down on him. Pastore concedes a foul on Emmanuel Riviere.
Ocampos, who is preferred to the Belgian Yannick Ferreira Carrasco, attempts to dart down the left wing, but PSG hold their defensive shape. Matuidi goes forward, as he goes for the through ball, but that's caught out.
Slight jeers for the PSG team from a rather full Stade Louis II - about 18,000 present tonight. Monaco have averaged 8,964 for the campaign to date. PSG slipping into their usual possession rhythm.
PSG push forward through Pastore, who has started his third league game in a row, taking advantage of Lavezzi and Cavani's injury woes. Monaco get the ball away however.
UNDERWAY IN THE BIG CLASH OF THE WEEKEND! The standout match of the European weekend, Stephane Lannoy the referee. Monaco attacking from right to left. PSG though, are the ones to kick-off.
First, a minute's applause for Philippe Mahut, the former France international, who died yesterday morning.
Tonight's ceremonial kick-off will be taken by former Liberia legend George Weah, who played for both these clubs.
The sides are coming out at Stade Louis II, where I'm reliably informed is sold out for the first time in almost a decade.
SUBS - PSG: Douchez, Marquinhos, Digne, Cabaye, Rabiot, Ménez, Lavezzi -- MONACO: Romero, Raggi, Dirar, Obbadi, Kondogbia, Carrasco, Berbatov
MONACO: Subasic - Fabinho, Carvalho, Abidal, Kurzawa - Ocampos, Toulalan, Rodriguez, Moutinho - Germain, Rivière.
PSG: Sirigu - Van der Wiel, Alex,Thiago Silva, Maxwell - Verratti, Thiago Motta, Matuidi - Lucas, Ibrahimovic, Pastore.
CONFIRMED TEAM NEWS:
In other Ligue 1 news this weekend, Marseille & Lyon kept up the heat for a Champions League place with victories, the former wrapping up their biggest league win for more than 20 months. Lille remain in 3rd with a 1-0 win over Sochaux.
The last time PSG had won in Monaco was in 2007, with only one player remaining from that fixture in which les Parisiens won 2-1. That player was Jeremy Menez, and he was on the scoresheet....for the Monegasques!
The last time these two sides faced each other in May 2011, a 1-1 draw saw PSG consolidate fourth place in the table and gain Europa League qualification. That however, pushed Monaco on the brink of relegation - which was confirmed weeks later.
The champions meanwhile, have only won three out of their last 35 visits to the Principality, and have lost more games to Monaco than any other Ligue 1 opposition. The omens are there.
Monaco, who sit five behind PSG in the table, can cut the gap and reignite a tight race with victory tonight. They have a good record at home to les Parisiens, who have not won here since 2007.
I'm Mohammed Ali, and I'll be bringing you the action from the Principality as a win tonight for either PSG and Monaco may go some way in deciding where L'Hexagoal will end up this season.
Good evening, and welcome to a blockbuster clash at the top of Ligue 1. The fixture that we've been looking forward to this season - and dubbed 'Le Cashique', it is AS Monaco v Paris Saint-Germain at a surprisingly packed Stade Louis II.
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