As in the league fixture at the weekend, the Bayer 04 coach Schmidt rotated his team to face the team placed second in the French Ligue 1: He made four changes to the side that started in Mainz. Wendell, Aleksandar Dragovic and Admir Mehmedi started on the bench and the Finn Joel Pohjanpalo was not in the squad. Hakan Calhanoglu, Jonathan Tah, Kevin Volland and the captain Lars Bender started.
It was clear from the kick-off that the Werkself were determined to get a result and clock up a first win in the Champions League group stage. Driven on by the lively Volland, Bayer 04 came close twice early on through Calhanoglu: One of his free kicks went just over the bar on 11 minutes and a long-range effort three minutes later went just wide of the upright. The Werkself failed to press home their advantage and the group leaders came back into the game. Both sides conceded little space and there were few chances in the first half at either end.
That was until just before the half-time whistle when the first big chance of the game fell to the defensively minded hosts in front of a sparse crowd at the Stade Louis II. A lay-off from Valère Germaine saw Julian Brandt arrive too late for a challenge on Timoué Bakayoko leaving Thomas Lemar to shoot unchallenged. His volley flashed inches wide of the right-hand post on 45 minutes. Bayer 04 went straight back up the other end and almost scored. However, the Monaco keeper Danijel Subasic was able to save a low shot from Chicharito. The two sides went into the half-time break with the score level at 0-0.
After the restart both sides attempted to get on the front foot without creating a real threat. Bernardo Silva's shot from 14 yards out on 51 minutes was deflected over Leno's goal by the intervention of the outstanding Ömer Toprak. That was the best chance for the home side until late on. Indeed, Monaco faded after that. In contrast, the Werkself pressed forward in search of the lead. However, they were unable to create space in the opposition box until the hour mark when Charles Aranguiz shot from the edge of the box – his effort landed in the arms of a watchful Subasic.
Chicharito converts Mehmedi Cross
Schmidt's team were finally rewarded for their increased efforts on 73 minutes when Mehmedi came off the bench and provided a pinpoint cross into the six-yard box for the unmarked Chicharito to turn the ball into the net from three yards out – a deserved 1-0 lead for the Werkself.
The Werkself continued to put in the running and tackles as they sought to secure victory. With six minutes to play Mehmedi had the chance to seal it when he saw the Monaco keeper Subasic was off his line. However, his lob from 35 yards out landed on top of the net.
Four minutes into added time Monaco struck out of the blue when Kamil Glik scored an undeserved equaliser with a volley from the edge of the box that left Leno stranded on its way to the left corner of the net. That was the last action in the match – the bewildered, disappointed faces of the Werkself spoke volumes.
After matchday two the Werkself are third in Group E on two points behind AS Monaco (four) and Tottenham Hotspur (three). The next match in the Champions League is on Tuesday 18 October (20.45 CET) with a home game against Spurs. Until then there are two Bundesliga matches against Borussia Dortmund on Saturday (18.30 CET) and away to Werder Bremen on 15 October (18.30 CET).
AS Monaco: Subasic - Raggi, Glik, Jemerson, Sidibé - Bakayoko (Mbappé 77’) - Joao Moutinho, Fabinho - Bernardo Silva (Boschilla 81’), Germain (Carillo 73’), Lemar
Bayer 04: Leno - Bender, Tah, Toprak, Henrichs - Aránguiz, Kampl - Brandt (Kießling 63’), Calhanoglu - Volland (Mehmedi 73’), Chicharito (Baumgartlinger 89’)
Goals: 0-1 Chicharito (72’), 1-1 Glik (90’)
Referee: David Fernandez Borbalan (Spain)
Booked: Jemerson / Tah, Toprak