Minamino strikes late to send Monaco third in Ligue 1

Minamino strikes late to send Monaco third in Ligue 1

© AFP 2022
February 25, 2024 at 5:39 PM
Monaco's Japanese forward Takumi Minamino (centre) celebrates his last gasp goal
Monaco's Japanese forward Takumi Minamino (centre) celebrates his last gasp goal. Photo: FRANCOIS LO PRESTI / AFP
Source: AFP

Japan striker Takumi Minamino scored in the second minute of added time to give Monaco a last-gasp 3-2 win at Lens on Sunday and lift the visitors to third in Ligue 1.

"What a match!" said Monaco coach Adi Hutter. "A great battle put up by Lens."

The win put Monaco on 41 points, two adrift of second-placed Brest, who beat Strasbourg 3-0 on Saturday.

Monaco kept third place as results went their way in later games.

Nice drew 0-0 at home with bottom-club Clermont and are a point behind in fourth. Lille lost 3-1 at Toulouse and are fifth.

Paris Saint-Germain are 10 points clear at the top ahead of their game with Rennes later on Sunday. Monaco and PSG meet on Friday.

"I hope this match will give us a lot of confidence for our next game against Paris Saint-Germain," said Hutter.

United States international Folarin Balogun put Monaco ahead after just 19 minutes. Minamino then doubled the lead on the half-hour.

Lens, who began the day one place below Monaco in sixth, struck back immediately through Elye Wahi. Wesley Said levelled in the 77th minute.

But the hosts, who lost at Freiburg in the Europa League on Thursday, faded in the last 10 minutes.

Balogun squandered an 83rd-minute penalty that was blocked by Brice Samba who had no problem collecting the American's tame follow-up.

Minamino saved his teammate's blushes however by drilling home his second goal in stoppage time to take the three points.

"We lacked the quality to withstand the pressure physically, but also technically," said Lens coach Franck Haise.

"Because we have a lot of heart and quality, we were able to come back to 2-2," said Haise "We also have certain shortcomings, we're paying for them."

In Nice, home goalkeeper goalkeeper Marcin Bulka threw himself to his left deep in added time at the end of the first half to save a penalty from Shamar Nicholson. It was Bulka's fourth save from six penalties he has faced in all competitions this season.

Nice have one win in their last six games.

"The performance was not brilliant," said Nice coach Francesco Farioli, but "it's not a tragedy."

"We put 43 balls into the box," he said. "It's hard to do more than that."

Lille's poor away form continued as they threw away a half-time lead to lose at Toulouse, who ended their own winless home run.

Lille dominated the first half and took the lead in added time with a goal from Hakon Haraldsson.

Toulouse, whose only home victory since October 1 was over Liverpool in the Europa League, made three changes at half time and were rewarded with three goals in a 17-minute burst.

Christian Mawissa levelled following a corner in the 49th minute.

One of the substitutes, Yann Gboho won a penalty eight minutes later that another, Vincent Sierro, converted.

Gboho then set up Thijs Dallinga for the third in the 66th minute.

Lille have not won away in Ligue 1 since November 26.

© AFP 2022 photo
© AFP 2022