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Ligue 1 PICS: Monaco kick-off new season with draw

August 23, 2020 23:02 IST
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The season-openers for champions Paris St Germain and Olympique Lyonnais were postponed after both teams reached the Champions League semi-finals.

Monaco's Axel Disasi celebrates on scoring against Reims in their Ligue 1 match on Sunday

IMAGE: Monaco's Axel Disasi celebrates on scoring against Reims in their Ligue 1 match on Sunday. Photograph: Ligue 1/Twitter

Monaco rallied from two goals down to salvage a point in a 2-2 draw at home to Stade de Reims in their first game under new coach Nico Kovac in Ligue 1 on Sunday.

Hoping to find some stability after hiring five coaches in two years, Monaco found themselves trailing 2-0 after 21 minutes following goals by Boulaye Dia and El Bilal Toure.

 

But Axel Disasi and Benoit Badiashile, who both had a catastrophic start in central defence, scored either side of the interval as Monaco stepped up a gear.

Nimes are the early pacesetters after the first round of matches courtesy of a 4-0 demolition of Brest while promoted Lorient also had a good start by beating Racing Strasbourg 3-1.

There was no Ligue 1 matches for five months as the 2019-2020 season was abandoned because of the COVID-19 crisis.

Reims got off to a flying start at Monaco when Boulaye Dia outpaced Badiashile and beat goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte with a low cross-shot in the fifth minute to put the visitors ahead.

They doubled their tally 16 minutes later when El Bilal Toure made the most of a defensive misunderstanding between Disasi and Badiashile.

Monaco, however, pulled one back on the stroke of halftime as Disasi headed home from point-blank range.

The hosts then equalised 10 minutes into the second half when Badiashile netted with an angled shot from Aleksandr Golovin's free kick.

The season-openers for champions Paris St Germain and Olympique Lyonnais were postponed after both teams reached the Champions League semi-finals.

PSG will face Bayern Munich in the Champions League final later on Sunday.

Olympique de Marseille's home game against St Etienne, which was scheduled for Friday, was postponed after four OM players tested positive for the novel coronavirus. 

Lille's Jo Bamba (right) is all smiles after their match against Stade Rennais 

IMAGE: Lille's Jo Bamba (right) is all smiles after their match against Stade Rennais. Photograph: Ligue 1/Twitter

On Saturday, Lille were held to a 1-1 home draw by Stade Rennais as both teams finished with 10 men in their first game of the Ligue 1 season.

The hosts went ahead in the first half thanks to Jonathan Bamba's strike after Rennes defender Sacha Boey's red card. Lille's Reinildo Mandava was then sent off and the visitors levelled after the break courtesy of Damien Da Silva's goal.

Angers got off to a perfect start when Ismael Traore's first-half goal earned them a 1-0 win at Dijon.

The Ligue 1 season started on Friday with a goalless draw between Girondins de Bordeaux and Nantes after a five-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Rennes went down 10 when Boey was shown a straight red card for a high foot in the 34th minute, which resulted in the 19-year-old being carried off the pitch on a stretcher after falling heavily on his back.

It was the turning point in a poor first half as Bamba fired home a low cross shot from just inside the box -- the first effort on target of the game - to put the hosts ahead five minutes from the break.

Lille also lost a player on the stroke of halftime as Mandava picked up a straight red card for a brutal tackle on Raiphinha.

With new signing Jonathan David failing to make an impact up front, Lille coach Christophe Galtier brought in another recruit, Burak Yilmaz, but the Turkish striker was equally unimpressive.

Rennes, who finished third last season, were the better side in the second half and they were rewarded in the 74th minute when Da Silva latched onto Eduardo Camavinga's headed cross to equalise. 

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