Monaco 'still on course for UCL'
Monaco midfielder Jeremy Toulalan said any club can have a dip in form after the principality side fell to their first Ligue 1 defeat of the season at Lille.
Claudio Ranieri's squad were beaten 2-0 at the Stade Pierre Mauroy on Sunday evening to see the northerners ease a point ahead of them and into second place behind leaders Paris Saint-Germain. The defeat came on the back of the midweek defeat of a second-string Monaco lineup against Reims in the Coupe de la Ligue, but Toulalan shrugged off the double setback.
"I think that we at least deserved a draw," said the France international midfielder, who saw Lille goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama deny Radamel Falcao on a number of occasions, notably barely 60 seconds before Nolan Roux scored his and his side's second goal.
"Perhaps there's some tiredness due to the accumulation of matches. And things are perhaps more difficult right now. All teams can have a dip in form, but -- having said that -- we played a quality second half and, in the end, had more chances than Lille. The priority is [qualifying for] the Champions League. So we have to do our utmost to achieve that. For the moment, we're on course."
Enyeama's superb display, which included a double save from Falcao and Emmanuel Riviere in added time at the end of the game, was just one of the reasons for Monaco's loss, according to Ranieri.
The Italian coach was adamant referee Wilfried Bien should have given his team a penalty when Layvin Kurzawa was brought down by Djibril Sidibe with Lille only 1-0 up.
"I'm very proud of my players after the defeat on Wednesday at Reims and the loss here tonight," he said. "We played well on Wednesday and this evening. It was a great game here at Lille. I'm not happy with the refereeing, because there was a foul on Eric Abidal for the first goal and a penalty that we didn't get in the second half. We had a lot of chances."