Thursday, February 22, 2018 | ePaper
Monaco rallies from 2-0 down and a red card to beat Lyon 3-2
AP, Paris :
Morocco's players celebrate on the podium after defeating Nigeria in the final of the CHAN (African Nations Championship) soccer tournament at the Mohammed V stadium in Casablanca, Morocco on Sunday.
Monaco overcame a two-goal deficit and a red card to beat Lyon 3-2 Sunday, leapfrogging its rival to move up to third place in the French league.
Midfielder Rony Lopes swept home a fine strike from the edge of the penalty area with one minute remaining, prompting jubilant scenes on the home bench.
Lyon looked in total control after scoring twice inside 30 minutes. Monaco drew level but then had forward Keita Balde sent off just before halftime.
Lyon's attack can be lethal, but its sloppy defense is prone to huge lapses in concentration. Last weekend, it was a similar story in a 3-1 defeat at Bordeaux.
Lyon dropped to fourth, two points behind Monaco and three behind Marseille. Runaway leader Paris Saint-Germain is 11 points clear at the top.
Monaco's win was even more impressive considering top scorer Radamel Falcao and goalkeeper Danijel Subasic went off injured during the game.
Lyon led through center forward Mariano Diaz in the 12th minute and winger Bertrand Traore in the 28th.
Diaz tried his luck from 30 meters (yards) out and his slightly deflected shot caught Subasic off guard, creeping inside the post. Traore athletically volleyed in left back Ferland Mendy's cross following a slick Lyon move engineered by forwards Nabil Fekir and Memphis Depay.
But Balde was given too much room to advance down the right and beat three defenders before clipping home a firm shot in the 31st.
Five minutes later, Mendy gave away a penalty for tugging center back Kamil Glik as they contested a cross. Falcao took the penalty, scoring at the second attempt after Anthony Lopes guessed correctly to save his initial effort. It was the Colombia striker's 17th league goal - one behind PSG's Neymar.
One minute before the break, Balde got a second yellow card for a reckless lunging tackle on Mendy near the touchline.
Despite having the extra man, Lyon almost fell behind when Rony Lopes drew a leaping save from Anthony Lopes with a curling strike midway through the second half. The goalkeeper denied Monaco again with another fine stop shortly after, tipping a 25-meter (yard) strike from midfielder Youri Tielemans over the crossbar.