Late equaliser salvages point for Monaco in Brittany
Paris: Monaco saw their championship chances dented on Saturday as they were forced to come back twice before snatching a 2-2 draw at Lorient to fall five points behind Paris Saint-Germain.
It took an 88th minute equaliser from Layvin Kurzawa to save pride for Claudio Ranieri`s men as the visitors were staring down the barrel of defeat with time running out.
I`m disappointed, I thought Monaco deserved the win," said Ranieri.
"It was a good game, but that`s football," the Italian added.
Lorient, who came into the match in 10th spot and within touching distance of the European places, took a shock lead on 13 minutes when Monaco failed to clear a corner kick.
Kevin Monnet-Paquet picked up the loose ball following a poor clearance and whipped in a cross that Cameroon striker Vincent Aboubakar met with a firm header to beat Croatian `keeper Danijel Subasic.
However with half-time looming, Ranieri`s men equalised on 41 minutes thanks to a clinical finish from Valere Germain.
Emmanuel Riviere was the catalyst as he broke into the penalty area before laying off a perfect pass for Germain who made no mistake from close range.
The second half provided a more balanced affair with both teams struggling to create clean scoring chances before Jeremie Aliadiere appeared to grab the winner with 17 minutes left.
The striker who began his career at Arsenal before spells at Celtic, West Ham, Wolves and Middlesbrough banged the ball home from a rebound to pile the pressure on Monaco before Kurzawa came to their rescue.
Monaco now know next Sunday`s home clash against Paris Saint-Germain is a must-win situation with their deficit increased to five points after the leaders defeated Bordeaux 2-0 on Friday.
Later on Saturday, Saint-Etienne can move within one point of third spot if they defeat Valenciennes at home while Lille who are in possession of the final Champions League spot travel to Nice on Sunday.
Nantes can also put the pressure on the leading pack as they visit second-from-bottom Sochaux knowing a win would lift them to fifth ahead of the Sunday slate.
Reims are at home to Montpellier, Evian entertain Ajaccio in a key relegation battle and Guingamp are on the road at Bastia in the other Saturday fixtures.