Bordeaux battle to a well-deserved draw [1-1]
Girondins win first point of the season against Montpellier
The Girondins gave their all this evening against Montpellier. After going a goal down they fought back to level the scores and secure their first point of this Ligue 1 campaign (1-1).
Bordeaux's first home engagement of the Ligue 1 2019-2020 season lived up to the pre-match expectations, with both the Girondins and visitors Montpellier giving their all in a hard-fought game which ended in a draw. It was also very much a game of two halves, with the best and worst of this Girondins side on full display.
Lining up in 3-4-3 formation, Bordeaux started out solid and well-drilled. Montpellier were similarly organised, and the opening exchanges were tentative and lacking in real chances. MHSC seized on every stray ball to exploit the spaces in the Bordeaux midfield, and fire in the first shots on target courtesy of Ferri (8’, 25’) and Laborde (10’).
This early initiative eventually paid off, and Montepellier took the lead. Ex-Girondin Gaëtan Laborde broke free down the right, while new recruit Laurent Koscielny found himself obstructed and ended up on the deck. Laborde had time to place an excellent cross which Delort converted with an acrobatic volley. Benoît Costil could do nothing but watch the ball sail past him (0-1, 22’). The Girondins were straight back on the offensive (26’, 44’) but the score remained unchanged at the break.
In an attempt to resolve his team's attacking woes, Paulo Sousa sent on Josh Maja for Toma Basic early in the second half (46’). It turned out to be a superb choice. The second period felt like a different game entirely, with Bordeaux dominant throughout. Cheered on by a crowd of 33,042 animated fans, Samuel Kalu fired off the first warning shots (46’, 49’). But it was English striker Maja who finally gave that sizeable home crowd something to cheer about.
After a first shot on target (65’), he was back a few minutes later and perfectly positioned to pick up Pablo's cross. Maja shrugged off the Montpellier defence, charged towards goal and slotted the ball past Rulli with a cool right-footed poke (1-1, 70’). The atmosphere in the stadium was electric as Bordeaux pushed forward in search of a winner. Nicolas de Préville tested Rulli with a wicked free kick (77’), followed a few minutes later by Youssouf Sabaly's lightning attack (82’).
Nevertheless it was Bordeaux who had the final fright of the evening.Just as the Girondins were throwing everything they had into attack, Montpellier replied with a schoolboy counter-attack that caught the hosts napping. Souleymane Camara was convinced that he'd sealed the win, and the referee seemed to think likewise, but the VAR replay let the Girondins off the hook (87’). Bordeaux were left thanking their lucky stars.
After a first rate second half, the Girondins ended up with a well-deserevd first point of the season. Next stop Dijon, and hopefully a first victory to celebrate!