Old friends Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira had to split the points as Monaco drew 1-1 with French Riviera rival Nice on Wednesday.
PARIS (AP) – Old friends Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira had to split the points as Monaco drew 1-1 with French Riviera rival Nice on Wednesday in a scrappy match featuring three video reviews.
Winger Allan Saint-Maximin put Nice ahead in the 30th minute and 17-year-old defender Benoit Badiashile equalized shortly after halftime, becoming the youngest scorer in the French top flight this season.
Henry and Vieira are in their first seasons coaching in France, but they go way back and hugged warmly before kickoff.
Living next to each other in London, they blossomed with Arsenal and were part of the famed ''Invincibles'' side which went a whole season unbeaten in the Premier League. The Frenchmen also won the 1998 World Cup and the European Championship in 2000, as well as playing together in the 2006 World Cup final.
Having started their illustrious careers as teenagers on the French Riviera - Henry with Monaco and Vieira with Cannes - they have come full circle as coaches.
Monaco had chances through Aleksandr Golovin and Rony Lopes, only for Nice to strike against the run of play following a sloppy mistake from Youssef Ait Bennasser. After he gave the ball away in midfield, Saint-Maximin took it off him easily and shrugged off defender Jemerson before shooting confidently past goalkeeper Diego Benaglio.
The goal was awarded before being checked and confirmed by referee Benoit Bastien using VAR. Moments before the interval, he consulted VAR again to send off Nice striker Ihsan Sacko for a late challenge on defender Benjamin Heinrichs.
Bastien used VAR for the third time to award a penalty in the 75th, ruling that Badiashile impeded right back Youcef Atal when images suggested Atal initiated contact with Badiashile before tumbling down.
Benaglio guessed correctly to keep out Saint-Maximim's spot kick. Monaco almost won it near the end when Radamel Falcao hit the post with a curling effort.
Monaco has not won at home this season and is 19th - only one point ahead of last-place Guingamp, which beat Rennes 2-1 at home on Wednesday.
Forwards Moussa Dembele and Nabil Fekir netted late on as third-place Lyon rallied to draw 2-2 at Toulouse.
Saint-Etienne can leapfrog Lyon in third with a home win against Marseille in Wednesday's late game.
Also, Nimes moved into 11th spot after winning 1-0 at home to Nantes.