Last season’s UEFA Champions League semi-finalists AS Monaco kicked off the 2017/18 competition with a 1-1 draw at RB Leipzig. Youri Tielemans scored (34′) to cancel out Emil Forsberg’s opener (33′) at the Red Bull Arena.
Wednesday, 13 September 2017
UEFA Champions League, Matchday 1 – Group G
RB Arena, Leipzig
RB Leipzig 1-1 AS Monaco
Monaco threatened first in Saxony, with Almamy Touré and Djibril Sidibé combining down the right to tee up a chance that Adama Diakhaby saw punched away by home goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi (18′). It was the hosts who drew first blood, though. Forsberg had already aid on a chance that Yussuf Poulsen and Timo Werner squandered between them (24′) before taking matters into his own hands, lathing onto a long ball forward and lashing home at the near post (33′). Leipzig’s first ever Champions League goal gave them the lead for all of a minute, though, with Tielemans reacting quickest to his own rebounded header to poke home the equaliser (34′).
Werner looked to make amends for his first-half miss seven minutes into the second, but after latching onto Forsberg’s through-ball he fired narrowly wide of Diego Benaglio’s post (52′). For all of Leipzig’s huff and puff, Kamil Glik and Jemerson proved well able for the home attack. Benaglio – standing in for the injured Danijel Subasic – didn’t have to make a save until RBL substitute Jean-Kévin Augustin forced a late corner (82′), but it came to nothing and it ended 1-1.
THE PLAYER: Youri Tielemans
Tielemans had only been given 56 minutes of Ligue 1 Conforama football coming into this game following his summer arrival from Anderlecht, but the 20-year-old Belgium international looked comfortable tucked in at No10 behind Radamel Falcao. With Bernardo Silva and Kylian Mbappé leaving this summer, the Colombia striker needs a supporting cast, and on this performance Tielemans looks well-equipped to provide it.
THE STAT: 89
Monaco have avoided defeat to German opposition in all but one of their meetings from teams from across France’s eastern border – picking up points 89 per cent of the time. The 3-0 reverse to Bayer Leverkusen in that season’s group stage has proved very much a blip, with five wins and three draw around that result.