Niang grabs Montpellier point

Monaco failed to move level with Paris Saint-Germain at the top of Ligue 1 as an equaliser by Mbaye Niang gave Montpellier a 1-1 draw on Friday night.

Layvin Kurzawa gave Monaco the lead seven minutes into the second half only for Niang to level things up when he pounced on the rebound after his penalty had been saved by Danijel Subasic after 68 minutes.

Montpellier are struggling towards the lower reaches of the table but they were in no way outclassed by Claudio Ranieri's side.

Monaco had the early play though and the visitors were grateful to goalkeeper Geoffrey Jourdren who punched clear Joao Moutinho's curling right-footed shot.

The hosts came close 10 minutes before the break when Radamel Falcao chested down a James Rodriguez pass and unleashed a volley which defender Abdelhamid El Kaoutari deflected away.

Montpellier then had a chance shortly before half-time when Remy Cabella attempted to thread the ball between Subasic's legs only for the keeper to block the ball with his thigh.

Monaco took the lead with the first real attack of the second half. Rodriguez's free-kick found Kurzawa and the full-back's header lobbed over Jourdren and into the net.

However, Montpellier were level 16 minutes later when Eric Abidal brought down Cabella and although the goalkeeper blocked Niang's initial spot kick, he was first to react and fired home.

Falcao was inches wide just a minute later only for Montpellier to almost go ahead themselves, Subasic blocking Benjamin Stambouli's shot with his knee.

Monaco, though, almost won it at the death with Montpellier indebted to Jourdren, the keeper blocking Yannick Carrasco's fierce snap shot.