Monaco left frustrated by stubborn Toulouse
Monaco's midfielder Jeremy Toulalan (top) clashes with Toulouse midfielder Clement Chantone during a French L1 football match on August 23, 2013 at the Louis II Stadium in Monaco. Monaco dropped points for the first time in this Ligue 1 season as Claudio Ranieri's side played out a goalless draw against Toulouse on Friday.
Having beaten Bordeaux 2-0 and then thumped Montpellier 4-1 in their opening two matches, the principality club would have been confident of extending their perfect start against a limited Toulouse outfit.
However, they could not find a way through the visitors' well-marshalled defence and will be left to wonder how the game might have turned out had they had they been able to enjoy the backing of their own supporters.
In the event, the match was played behind closed doors as a punishment for incidents at the end of Monaco's last home game of last season, when fans set off flares and invaded the pitch.
The principality club have been derided in the past for their poor attendances at the Stade Louis II, but on this occasion the total absence of supporters made for a surreal atmosphere, as the shouts of the players and the orders of the coaches echoed around the ground.
Fresh from scoring four goals in the opening two matches, Emmanuel Riviere was lively up front for Monaco against his former club, firing wide from a tight angle in the 12th minute and then forcing a good save from Toulouse 'keeper Ali Ahamada soon after following a brilliant turn inside the box.
Yannick Ferreira Carrasco and Lucas Ocampos also had chances for the hosts in the first half, while the visitors came closest when Argentine summer signing Oscar Trejo fired inches wide.
However, chances were fewer and further between in the second period, with James Rodriguez -- a 45 million-euro ($60.2m) signing from Porto in the summer -- unable to unlock the Toulouse rearguard.
The closest Monaco came was from a long-range Jeremy Toulalan strike that shattered the bar and rebounded to safety in the 87th minute.
Monaco move provisionally one point clear at the top of the table before the rest of the weekend's games.
On Saturday, Marseille and Lyon will be bidding to maintain their perfect starts to the campaign against Valenciennes and Reims respectively, while Saint-Etienne travel to Lille on Sunday before champions Paris Saint-Germain -- still without a win -- face promoted Nantes.