Summary

With PSG dropping points on Friday, this was a golden chance for Monaco to steal a march on their Ligue 1 rivals, but a poorly defended high line, a Ricardo Carvalho red-card and excellent counter-attacking football from Lorient, resulted in a shock result, their first ever win in Monaco!

Falcao came off the bench and scored a penalty but looked fairly rusty, which is understandable. Berbatov had his chances, alas we didn’t get that MOMENT. Another night perhaps.

I don’t know Lewis, I just don’t know.

Thanks for reading, enjoy what’s left of your weekend. Bye!

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Full-time: Monaco 1-2 Lorient

A famous win for the visitors! What an upset!

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90+2 mins: Kurzawa mis-controls an easy pass and it goes out for a Lorient throw. In the stands, Prince Albert II walks out in his executive box in disgust. You can see him swearing. Go on Al.

90 mins: Falcao twists and turns in the box but that is an excellent tackle from Kone. He had to get that one right, otherwise it would have been another penalty! Hands on hips time for Monaco! Two added minutes to come.

Abdennour is caught in possession and and Moutinho fails to track his marker, Lavigne, who is acres of space. Aboudakar makes a simple pass into space, and the substitute winger has all the time in the world to pick his spot as he bears down on Subasic. He opts for a low finish to the near post and it’s the right decision. 2-1!

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GOAL! Monaco 1-2 Lorient (Lavigne 86)

Monaco have paid the price for that high defensive line!

85 min: Free-kick to Monaco wide of the box, you’d have to say that set-pieces represent the best chance of scoring. It’s a poor delivery from Moutinho, that’s a waste!

83 min: Monaco have actually played better with 10 men rather than 11, although they haven’t carved out any more openings as yet. Lorient still post a threat on the break, another very tight offside call! Aboudakar was a yard too keen, otherwise he’d have been clean through!

Subasic will compete with Maarten Stekelenburg for the No1 jersey this season, after the Dutchman signed on loan from Fulham yesterday. Just look at that balcony!

The deal also kills any chance of a deal for Victor Valdes, who I assume is still struggling with that knee injury. Does anyone know how he is getting on?

80 min: Aboudakar sets off on another bustling run, powering his way to goal unchallenged. He is forced wide and the last minute and Subasic narrows the angle further still. He looks very pleased with himself after putting that behind for a corner.

Falcao is off the mark for the season, and lifts this penalty into the top left hand corner. Lecomte wasn’t far away there but it’s 1-1.

GOAL! Monaco 1-1 Lorient (Falcao pen 78)

The 10 men have done it!

77 min: Penalty for Monaco! Oh that was soft! Falcao scuffs a volley goalwards but it ends up as a useful pass to Berbatov’s feet. He feels Kone at his back and hits the ground. That’s never a pen but the referee points to the spot!

75 min: Martial comes on for Carrasco. This 18-year-old is definitely one to watch. He’s been tracked by a number of clubs and many have compared him to Thierry Henry, he’s even from the same Parisian suburb! Lorient make a sub: Lavigne on for Jouffre.

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72 min: Lorient are beginning to keep the ball a bit better. This would be a huge result for them and their manager Sylvain Ripoll. Ripoll is a Lorient legend, having captained the club as a player, and having made over 200 appearances.

69 min: So close for 10-man Monaco! A straight-forward corner lands at the back post and Berbatov is completely unmarked, heading back across goal. Falcao tries to get a nick on it to deceive Lecomte but he just misses and the keeper makes a fine tip around the post! Another great save!

Almost exactly the same challenge as he made for his first caution – Coutadeur pushed the ball beyond Carvalho, who just doesn’t have the pace to keep up these days. Instead of tracking the man, he just takes Coutadeur out. It’s an easy decision, although Monaco’s bench are quick to get up and tell the Lorient player what they think!

RED CARD! Ricardo Carvalho (Monaco)

Could that be the nail in Monaco’s coffin? A second yellow for the Portuguese.

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Wooo!

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64 min: Aboubakar chases a lost cause down the right channel and hassles Abdennour all the way to the byline, before eventually bundling him to the deck. He’s been given a yellow card, and I have absolutely no idea why. That was tame.

62 min: First Lorient sub – Mesloub, signed from Le Havre in the summer, comes on for Diallo.

58 min: Falcao is on! Ocampos comes off, and the Stade de Louis II goes as nuts as a half-empty stadium can go.

57 min: Kurzawa makes his first break of the half down the left and cuts it back to Germain on the edge of the box, but he slices it wide – it actually could have turned into a pass for Berbatov but the 33 year old couldn’t react quickly enough.

56 min: Falcao and Jardim having a chat, he’s coming on! Moutinho is beginning to dictate the play now, from deep.

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53 min: Two big saves from Lecomte in under a minute, both from Carrasco efforts. The first is a scrambling save, making himself big to deny the winger after a nice lay-off from Berbatov. The second was pure reactions, a powerful shot pushed wide.

51 min: Carrasco needlessly runs the ball out of play with Sunu and Aboudakar playing a nice one-two. Sunu is then unceremoniously fouled by Carvalho – that was cynical and the veteran defender knew exactly what he was doing. Takes the yellow, and a good foul to give away, with Sunu in the clear.

49 min: Close for Berbatov. A Monaco corner is flicked on at the near post, but it’s more of a looped flick and again the Bulgarian has to climb to get any purchase on the header. The loop also allows Lecomte to scramble across goal and turn Berbatov’s header behind for another corner, which is wasted.

48 min: To compound Berbatov’s misery, now he’s booked, for what looks like an innocuous challenge on Coutadeur, who used to play for Monaco, incidentally.

46 min: Berbatov gets a lovely slide-rule pass from Moutinho but his first touch lets him down (!) and a poor pass forces Germain wide. That was a golden opportunity for Berbs, if he’s taken it on, he’d have been in on goal.

The teams are back out, Falcao is doing a few stretches. Peep peep, we’re off again.

James Rodriguez is far, far away from this mess in Monaco. And as though to rub it in, he’s showing off his new golden boots, designed for him after winning the Golden Boot at the World Cup. Urgh.

You have to take your hat off to Lorient, they’ve executed their game plan perfectly here. How long until Falcao comes on? If Monaco are to maintain their impressive home record, you’d have to say soon!

Half-time: Monaco 0-1 Lorient

We look like we’ve got an upset on the cards! Boos ring out around the stadium!

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45 min: Two added minutes. Monaco are playing a 4-2-3-1 with the full-backs high, so it’s a very attacking line up by Jardim. Lorient, with Sunu, Diallo and Aboudakar look dangerous on the break with all that pace.

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43 min: Yet another foul on Sunu, Dirar is going to have to watch his step, otherwise he’ll be off for an early bath.

42 min: A Monaco corner is swept into the near-post area, and Wachter and Lecomte get in a muddle, the ball skews up into the air and behind again. I think that clipped the outside of the post on the way behind, would be such a cheap way to surrender their lead.

38 min: Ah that’s poor – Sunu drives it into the wall, and scuffs the rebound. However, from the goal kick, he gets another chance to drive at Dirar and just gets in front of the Monaco right-back before again hitting the turf. Dirar is booked, either for dissent or persistent fouling, I can’t be sure. It’s a bit pressure but a good Carvalho header relieves the pressure.

37 min: Diallo drives a hard low pass that skims along the ground out to Sunu on the left, and he in turn, drives inside with pace, before being tripped. Dangerous position here, about 25 yards out.

34 min: Now Lorient make a sub: Pele (do you really want to constantly have that name on your back?!) who is obviously injured, comes off for Sunu, previously of Arsenal (sorry again). It looks as though Sunu will slot in straight on the left wing, and the 23 year old wastes no time in winning a cheap corner by kicking the ball against Dirar. Nothing comes from the set-piece.

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32 min: Germain plays a delicious little flick to release Ocampos. Germain is a home favourite, he’s very creative.

31 min: Early substitution: summer signing defensive midfielder Bakayoko, the France U-20 captain, comes off with forward Germain coming on. Is that tactical or has Bakayoko got an injury?

29 min: Another chance for Monaco. Kondogbia clips a delightful pass over the head of Pele with Kurzawa, again forward arriving. He chooses a first-time header toward goal, which is easily saved, when he could have knocked it back across the six-yard box for Berbatov, who was unmarked for a tap-in. Berbatov holds his head in his hands in disbelief.

27 min: Surely that’s a foul?! Ocampos drives at Pedrinho and goes past him with a couple of dinky step-overs. A covering tackle comes in from Guerrero but he took all man, no ball! Appeals are raised, unbelievably the referee says no.

26 min: First big chance for Berbatov! Kurzawa makes another good run and gets to the byline before standing up a back-post cross. Berbs is there but it’s a fraction too high, and the Bulgarian can’t get power on the header. He does manage to head it down and on target but Lecomte saves before Pele clears. Better from the hosts, and the home crowd find their voice.

24 min: This is fantastic tiki-taka stuff from Lorient. They must have just played a dozen one-touch passes through Monaco’s midfield without the likes of Moutinho or Kondogbia having a sniff.

21 min: Lorient are finding the feet of Aboubakar too easily in with one pass, he’s one-on-one with Carvalho. This time the veteran Portuguese gets a good slide tackle in, before the Cameroonian striker can unleash a shot inside the box.

17 min: First substantial Monaco attack, a good switch of play finds Kurzawa breaking down the flank and the left-back delivers a good low cross that is well cleared by Wachter for a corner. The resulting delivery results in mayhem, with the keener Lecomte dropping the ball inside the six-yard box before Kone hacks away. That could have fallen to anyone.

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14 min: A long ball from Pedrinho on the right is aimed toward Coutadeur breaking from midfield. A lucky break means the Lorient man brings the ball under control and after toe-poking the ball, flings himself to the ground. Is that another penalty?! Ah no, the referee has blown for simulation! Coutadeur is given a yellow, much to his distaste.

12 min: Moutinho, another one of Monaco’s big signings, has been absent so far and gives away another sloppy pass, when under no pressure at all. Lorient’s tempo is very impressive, can they keep it up?

It’s clear that the pace of Aboubakar and Diallo was going to trouble Monaco but that was a simple run to force the foul. Penalty dispatched into the bottom left hand corner. The Stade Louis II is deathly quiet. Falcao, already stripped of his tracksuit starts to shout encouragement from the bench.

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GOAL! Monaco 0-1 Lorient (Aboudakar 9)

The striker picks himself up, and sends Subasic the wrong way!

8 min: Penalty to Lorient! Abdennour was rash with his challenge on Aboubakar. Clear as day and Abdennour is booked. What a chance for Lorient here!

5 min: Both teams getting settled. Monaco have an average attendance of just 8,000 odd, the second worst in Ligue 1! There are tickets available for tonight’s game for just €10 too, not that the locals struggle much with money. Lorient is 590 miles from Monaco so I can’t imagine they’ll have much of a presence either.

4 min: The ball breaks to Berbatov and he manages to poke the ball beyond the onrushing Wachter and sets off after it. My word, he’s slow. We all love him, but Jesus wept, he’s treading water. Wachter, making his debut for Lorient tonight, is quick enough to get back and clear.

2 min: Lorient off to a bright start, with Aboubakar, who scored 16 goals last season, looking to get in behind Monaco’s defence. Led by Carvalho, the back four are quite slow, and play a dangerous high line so it’s not implausible that Lorient could grab a goal or two here.

  • Peep Peeep. We’re underway!
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    PLUG! PLUG! PLUG!

    Have a read of Paul Doyle’s Ligue 1 preview and why he thinks Monaco are playing into PSG’s hands in the battle to rule France.

    And if video is more your sort of thing, have a go on this, courtesy of our very-authetic resident French expert, Julien Laurens.

    Do you ever wonder what Steed Malbranque is up to these days? I did. Turns out he’s scoring quite good goals for Lyon, like this one from this afternoon. Lyon beat Rennes 2-0.

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    The teams:

    No start for Falcao, as expected. He’s on the bench.

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    You know that Berbatov-moment thing I was talking about earlier? Yeah well he did this in pre-season ...

    If Monaco are to break PSG’s Ligue 1 dominance, they will have to capitalise when the champions slip up. As it happens, they did exactly that on Friday night, and PSG could only manage a 2-2 draw away at Reims. Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored two, but also missed a sitter and a penalty. This is your moment Monaco!

    Enough of that guff, let’s talk cold, hard transfers.

    Monaco have signed just Tiémoué Bakayoko from Stade Rennais for €8m, and have a new manager: Leonardo Jardim replacing Claudio Ranieri at the helm. You would have thought that with the £63m they trousered for selling James Rodríguez to Real Madrid, they would be throwing their weight around, but no other new faces have arrived in the principality thus far. More departures include Emmanuel Rivière to Newcastle, Eric Abidal to Olympiakos, and Nacer Barazite, formerly of Arsenal, to FC Utrecht.

    Their best bit of business has been keeping Radamel Falcao, although there is still about three weeks until they can be sure he is staying. The Colombian striker is nowhere near 100% fit but was good enough to score the winner against Arsenal in a pre-season friendly last week has been included in this evening’s match squad.

    As for Lorient, their big signing is the Ghana international Jordan Ayew from Marseille, brought in to replace the former Arsenal striker Jeremie Aliadiere, who was released in the summer. Ayew played alongside his brother, Andre, at the World Cup, and also scored against Arsenal (sorry to keep mentioning them, I promise it is a coincidence) last season in the Champions League. Unfortunately he’s suspended tonight.

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    Preamble

    “Poetry does not always need words”

    So reads a quite excellent tweet sent out by Monaco to promote their season opener with Lorient, complete with an image of a balding Berbatov, who is presumably about to caress a football into some out-of-shot top corner.

    Normally one might scoff at such hyperbole, especially when one has a serious case of the Sunday Blues, but there is something wonderfully fluid and languid about Berbatov in motion that does lift the soul. He is a man of moments, and is fondly remembered in the UK for occasionally gracing us with the sublime, the nonchalant – THAT turn against West Ham, this control at Blackpool, this bicycle kick against Liverpool – rather than a prolific player that single-handily grabs a game by the scruff of the neck and wills his team to win.

    However, if Monaco are to challenge PSG for the Ligue 1 title this season, surely he will have a say. Alongside the undoubted jewel remaining in Monaco’s crown, Radamel Falcao, and their rising star, Anthony Martial, Monaco possess a strikeforce to match their Parisian rivals.

    Monaco v Lorient on a Sunday night is not a match many of you follow for pure action, perhaps it is simply to catch one of those moments, should they rear it’s pretty-looking head this evening. Then you can say, I was there – sitting on my sofa/train/toilet – reading The Guardian’s MBM (...) when Berbs scored THAT goal. At least let’s hope it’s not 0-0, anyway.

    Kick-off: 8pm BST