Monaco draws 1-1 at Reims to move level with PSGAP , Associated Press
Sep. 29, 2013 6:52 PM ET
PARIS (AP) — Monaco moved level with title rival Paris Saint-Germain at the top of the French league on Sunday after drawing 1-1 against an impressive Reims side.
"Taking into account it was the third match in a week, it was very good," Monaco coach Claudio Ranieri said. "It was a nice match, the two teams wanted to win and a draw seems fair to me. I'm not disappointed.
"When you can't win, it's important not to lose. We didn't lose, we're at the top of the table, it's good."
Reims, which had drawn its previous four matches, took a surprise lead in the fourth minute when an unmarked Antoine Devaux headed in a perfect cross from Atila Turan.
Monaco leveled less than 10 minutes later with a fantastic free kick from Moutinho, who curled it in at the near post from 22 yards (meters) out.
It was the first time a player other than Emmanuel Riviere or Radamel Falcao had scored for Monaco this season.
Both teams hit the woodwork in the second half, with Reims goalkeeper Kossi Agassa doing well to push Layvin Kurzawa's fierce header onto the bar three minutes after the break.
Shortly after the hour mark, Floyd Ayite controlled a brilliant lobbed pass from around 60 yards (meters) and raced forward before unleashing a powerful effort which crashed off the crossbar.
Turan was sent off three minutes from full time for a second booking — just 30 seconds after being shown a first yellow card for dissent.
Earlier, Montpellier was also held to a fifth successive draw, finishing up 1-1 with Ajaccio in Corsica in a match which both teams finished with 10 men. Newly-promoted Nantes won 3-1 at Rennes.
Filip Djordjevic opened the scoring in the 17th minute, firing in the rebound after he had headed Lucas Deaux's cross onto the left hand post.
Nantes doubled its lead two minutes from halftime when the ball came to Serge Gakpe, who did well to change direction, turn round his marker and fire a low shot across goal into the bottom right corner.
Nelson Oliveira pulled one back for Rennes 10 minutes after the interval, moments after Julien Feret had headed onto the post for the home side.
Deaux sealed the match in stoppage time.
It was the first time Rennes had conceded in five league matches.
In Corsica, Ajaccio got off to the worst possible start when midfielder Claude Goncalves was sent off in the ninth minute for what was harshly judged to have been a deliberate handball to clear Souleymane Camara's shot off the line.
Remy Cabella fired the spot kick powerfully and even though Ajaccio goalkeeper Guilherme Ochoa got his hands to it, he couldn't stop it from going into the top left side of goal.
The game changed in the 36th minute when Ronald Zubar headed Johan Cavalli's free kick down across goal and into the bottom right corner for the equalizer.
Moments later, Montpellier was also reduced to 10 men when Yassine Jebbour received a second booking following a poor tackle on Alessandro Crescenzi.
Ajaccio could have won the match in the last minute but Montpellier goalkeeper Geoffrey Jourdren pulled off a fantastic double save to keep out Paul Lasne's 20-yard attempt and then stop Aboubacar Camara's follow up.