Yaya Sanogo scored a late equaliser as Toulouse FC played out a valiant 3-3 draw with AS Monaco on Saturday to frustrate the reigning Ligue 1 Conforama champions.

 Toulouse FC 3-3 AS Monaco 

THE MATCH
Second-placed Monaco started the game just a point clear of Olympique de Marseille, but with OM travelling to the capital to face leaders Paris Saint-Germain for Sunday’s Classique, and fourth-placed Olympique Lyonnais facing a testing Rhône derby with AS Saint-Etienne, Leonardo Jardim’s men knew this was an opportunity to pull clear of their challengers for a top-two spot.

Rony Lopes has been in sparkling form of late for the champions, and he looked like he had kickstarted what would have been a fourth successive league win early on with his fourth league strike in six games, profiting from Keita Baldé’s brilliant approach play to measure up the opener (8′).

Toulouse had given Monaco a testing time on the opening day of the season, and the hosts, despite being winless in their last two outings, showed self-belief. Giannelli Imbula brought a save from Danijel Subasic (10′) before Ibrahim Sangaré darted ahead of Fabinho to send a lot shot beyond the Croatia international goalkeeper to level (24′).

Desperation

Rachid Ghezzal replaced Youri Tielemans at the break, and the former Lyon man started the move that led to Lopes sweeping home to restore Monaco’s lead after Alban Lafont had seen Stevan Jovetic’s half-volley flash by him in both directions after hitting a post (47′).

Subasic blocked an Andy Delort effort (65′), and when Jovetic netted 18 minutes from time, all hope appeared lost for Mickaël Debeve’s men. But just a point above the bottom three at kick-off, their desperation for points caused them to dig deep.

Kamil Glik’s foul on Sanogo gave Delort the chance to pull one back from the spot (78′) – only the seventh penalty netted in ten this season by TFC – before Sanogo’s second league goal of the season snatched a potentially precious point three minutes from time. It will have been a goal celebrated in Marseille and Lyon too.

THE PLAYER: Rony Lopes
The 22-year-old Portuguese attacker is starting to make the memory of Bernardo Silva fade in the minds of Monaco fans. After a dip in form around the Christmas period, he has come back strongly, and will be key in his club’s bid to finish in the top two.

THE STAT: 4
This was only the fourth time in ten games against Monaco that Toulouse have avoided defeat. They have won just once in that series.

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