Ligue 1, Round 8, 29/11/23
A late Téji Savanier penalty salvaged a draw for Montpellier HSC (1-1) against a stubborn Clermont Foot side in a fixture rescheduled after fan trouble saw the initial game abandoned back in October.
It was a strange night at the Stade de la Mosson that was reminiscent of the Covid-affected season, with no fans in attendance. The match was being played behind closed doors following the abandonment of the match back in October after a firecracker landed and exploded at the feet of Mory Diaw. Clermont were losing 4-2 at the time of the incident, which happened in second-half injury time.
Clermont were looking to make the most of the second chance that had been afforded to them and they quickly took the lead thanks to a Maxime Gonalons screamer for long-range. Benjamin Lecomte, who saw it all the way, perhaps could have done better with the effort.
His opposite number, Diaw, had a much better half, saving from Wahbi Khazri, Téji Savanier (on two occasions) and Musa Al-Taamari. The barrage on Diaw’s goal continued into the second half. Akor Adams shot just wide from a good position before Diaw got down well to save from Khazri. Boubakar Kouyaté saw a shot saved off the line, whilst at the other end, Muhammed Cham could have put the game to bed, but he shot wide from a good position.
The barrage intensified further as the full-time whilst neared. Arnaud Nordin saw an effort cleared off the line, whilst Sacha Delaye also went close. However, they were given a golden opportunity when Florent Ogier clumsily handled in the box. Savanier, who had been brilliant throughout, stepped up to send Diaw the wrong way.
Clermont remain in the relegation zone but have grown the gap to bottom place Olympique Lyonnais to one point, whilst Montpellier climb to 13th.
Montpellier player ratings
Benjamin Lecomte – 4
Théo Sainte-Luce – 5
Maxime Estève – N/A
Replaced by Khalil Fayad (4) in the 18th after sustaining a muscular injury.
Bécir Omeragić – 4
Falaye Sacko – 6
Jordan Ferri – 4
He was quiet in the first half and was then injured just before the half-time whistle and replaced by Sacha Delaye (5)
Boubakar Kouyaté – 6
Wahbi Khazri – 5
Téji Savanier – 8
An eye-catching and effective performance from the captain, who was a ubiquitous playmaking presence. His distribution from deeper areas broke lines and stretched play, whilst he was also effective in tighter spaces in a packed final third. Got the equalising goal late on – a just reward for a man-of-the-match performance.
Musa Al-Taamari – 5
Akor Adams – 4
Uncharacteristically wasteful on the night, Adams didn’t manage to do anything with the few chances he had on his night with his touch often letting him down.
Selected Clermont player ratings
Maxime Gonalons – 6
Mory Diaw – 7
Diaw made an impressive saves on the night, including a crucial one from a Sevanier free-kick. This isn’t the first time that Diaw has been decisive and earned his team a point this season. With Clermont set to be in a fight for survival this season, his contributions could be the difference come the end of the season.