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Amiens 1 Monaco 1: Jovetic rescues point but champions give PSG boost

Ligue 1 champions Monaco suffered another setback in their title defence as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Amiens on Friday.

Stevan Jovetic cancelled out Serge Gakpe’s opener at Stade de la Licorne but Leonardo Jardim’s side could not avoid making it three away games out of four without a win in all competitions.

Amiens went into the match in the bottom three in the table, but a run of four games without defeat has given them a renewed confidence that shone through during the first half.

They took the lead on 31 minutes in some style, too, as Gakpe latched onto Gael Kakuta’s pass before firing low left-footed past Danijel Subasic from the edge of the area.

Monaco looked an improved side after the break, with Radamel Falcao twice coming close and Rachid Ghezzal denied by Amiens goalkeeper Regis Gurtner.

Their growing pressure eventually told, as Jovetic slotted the ball into the bottom-left corner after Fabinho had teed him up at the end of a good run.

Kakuta and Falcao both came close to a winner in the closing stages but neither side was able to find a winner, meaning Paris Saint-Germain can go six points clear at the top if they beat Nantes on Saturday.

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Bordeaux 0 Monaco 2: No Falcao, no problem as Lemar breaks drought

The absence of Radamel Falcao did not prevent Monaco from recording a second consecutive Ligue 1 victory, as goals from Keita Balde and Thomas Lemar secured a 2-0 win at Bordeaux on Saturday.

Falcao is the league’s leading scorer with 13 goals from nine matches this season, but the Colombia international sat out the match at Stade Matmut-Atlantique due to a thigh strain.

In his absence, Balde and Lemar netted twice in quick succession early in the second half as title-holders Monaco stayed second, still four points behind Paris Saint-Germain, who dispatched Nice 3-0 on Friday.

The away team created the first clear chance of the game, with Bordeaux goalkeeper Benoit Costil called into action to parry away a fierce Fabinho effort from Jorge’s cutback.

It took until the half-hour mark for Monaco to threaten again, Kamil Glik getting to Joao Moutinho’s free-kick first but seeing his header saved by Costil.

Bordeaux were restricted to sporadic counter-attacks, Monaco defender Jemerson clearing confidently from Francois Kamano’s dangerous ball across the face of goal with a minute remaining in the opening period.

Leonardo Jardim’s men eventually broke the deadlock in the 57th minute, when Jorge was fortunate to avoid giving away a foul before swinging a cross into the area from the left flank.

Moutinho’s cushioned header fell perfectly into the path of Balde, who took the ball under control quickly and steered a tidy, low finish past the onrushing Costil.

Lemar doubled the advantage eight minutes later, receiving the ball from Glik before cutting in the from left, beating the Bordeaux defence with ease and firing the ball beyond Costil, who should have done better, for his first strike of the league season.

Alexandre Mendy twice went close to pulling one back for Bordeaux, the substitute firing wide of the near post from a tight angle before seeing a header cleared off the line by Jemerson.

Monaco substitute Stevan Jovetic could have made it 3-0 soon after, with his curling effort from the top of the box sneaking just wide of the upright.

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Monaco 2 Caen 0: Keita opens account as hosts get back on track

Keita Balde scored his first Monaco goal as the Ligue 1 champions got back on track with an easy 2-0 home win over Caen.

Monaco had failed to win in four matches coming into the game, jeopardising their hopes in both Ligue 1 and the Champions League, but returned to form with a comfortable triumph on Saturday.

The win, which was sealed by in-form Radamel Falcao’s penalty, puts the hosts back to within three points of league leaders Paris Saint-Germain, who face an away clash against rivals Marseille on Sunday in their game in hand.

Monaco moved in front after 21 minutes, when an impressive throughball from Thomas Lemar released Keita and he raced into the area to send a calm right-footed finish into the bottom corner from 15 yards, his first strike since signing from Lazio in July.

Lemar and Rony Lopes failed to covert further good opportunities, while Jemerson headed against the bar as Monaco were forced to settled for a one-goal lead at the break after dominating the opening period.

But Leonardo Jardim’s men did double their advantage just before the hour mark, with a penalty awarded when Jan Repas fouled Lopes right on the edge of the area, an infringement referee Thomas Leonard adjudged had taken place inside the box.

Falcao then stepped up to send Caen goalkeeper Remy Vercoutre the wrong way, already the Colombia international’s 13th league goal of the season.

Caen finally threatened when Monaco shot stopper Danijel Subasic pushed Christian Kouakou’s effort onto the bar, but the boom-or-bust visitors – who have now won five and lost five from 10 top-flight games this season – never looked likely to launch a comeback and stay ninth in the table.

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Monaco concede at the death to settle for draw with Montpellier HSC

Monaco have missed out on the chance to go top of Ligue 1 after conceding a 92nd-minute equaliser in Friday night’s 1-1 draw with Montpellier HSC.

Following a midweek 3-0 routing at the hands of Porto in the Champions League, the French champions began the game cautiously and timidly.

Indeed, the hosts gave away possession clumsily in the ninth minute, which saw Stephane Sessegnon well placed to fire home following a cutback into the box, but the ex-Paris Saint-Germain man blasted wide.

Ten minutes later, Pedro Mendes muscled his way into a shooting position and let rip, only for Monaco goalkeeper to charge his effort down.

Although the visitors kept a clean sheet against PSG last week, they were not able to repeat the feat against the principality side, with Radamel Falcao charging into the box to turn home Rony Lopes’s low cross.

Montpellier toiled against their opponents and, save for a few half-chances, did not seem to have enough to trouble Monaco.

Two minutes into added time, however, substitute Kevin Berigaud headed down a Vitorino Hilton cross for Souleymane Camara to past Subasic and snatch a point at the death.
(Giuseppe Labellarte)

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Lille 0 Monaco 4: Falcao hits double as champions romp to win

Monaco drew level on points with Paris Saint-Germain at the top of Ligue 1 with a 4-0 victory over Lille on Friday.Radamel Falcao scored his 10th and 11th goals of the season alongside first strikes for the club for Stevan Jovetic and Rachid Ghezzal at Stade Pierre-Mauroy.

The defeat will likely pile more pressure on Lille boss Marcelo Bielsa, who insisted this week he would not resign despite a run of six games without a win.

Monaco looked the more dangerous from the off despite allowing the home side the majority of possession and they fully deserved to take a 24th-minute lead, with Jovetic firing into the bottom-right corner from the edge of the area for his first goal in Ligue 1.

Ghezzal, another arrival in a hectic transfer window, opened his account six minutes later as he arrived unmarked at the left-hand post to drill home a loose ball.

Lille heads had well and truly dropped, but Falcao made the points certain three minutes after half-time, heading in a rebound following Mike Maignan’s save from Rony Lopes.

Fares Bahlouli at last forced Diego Benaglio into a save, but matters got worse for Lille moments later, with Falcao dispatching a penalty in confident style after Rominigue Kouame clipped the heels of Jorge in the box.

The result moves the champions on to 18 points from seven matches, level with PSG, who take on Montpellier on Saturday.

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Monaco 3 Strasbourg 0: Falcao bags brace as Jardim´s men bounce back

Monaco picked up their first win in three games as Radamel Falcao scored twice in a 3-0 Ligue 1 victory over Strasbourg.

Leonardo Jardim’s men were beaten 4-0 at Nice in their previous league outing and were held to a 1-1 draw by RB Leipzig in the Champions League, but a return to winning ways puts Monaco level on points with league leaders Paris Saint-Germain, who play Lyon on Sunday.

Stevan Jovetic saw his wonderful chipped shot from the edge of the box beat Strasbourg goalkeeper Bingourou Kamara but come back off the crossbar after just seven minutes as Monaco made a bright start.

Jean Eudes Aholou should have scored for Strasbourg when he was gifted a free header right in front of goal after 34 minutes but he lifted the ball over the crossbar when it seemed easier to score, and he was left to rue the miss as the first goal arrived 10 minutes later when Rachid Ghezzal played in Rony Lopes to score from close range.

Falcao made it 2-0 with a simple tap-in six minutes into the second half, side-footing the ball over the line from point blank range after Jorge’s cross found him unmarked in the six-yard box.

Monaco goalkeeper Diego Benaglio made a superb save to deny Dimitri Lienard after 56 minutes, diving the full length of his goal to parry the powerful low shot away one-handed.

Falcao had a goal ruled out for offside after an hour but he made amends seven minutes later when Strasbourg captain Kader Mangane fell to the ground, allowing the Colombian striker to lash the ball into the net unchallenged and wrap up the victory.

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Metz 0 Monaco 1: Falcao’s late winner seals record-breaking victory

Monaco set a new Ligue 1 record for consecutive victories with Radamel Falcao securing their 15th in succession via a 1-0 win away to Metz on Friday.

Falcao’s classy 78th-minute winner ensured a frustrating night ended on a record-breaking note as Monaco surpassed the 14 straight triumphs accumulated by Bordeaux in 2009.

The champions needed a piece of inspiration from new signing Rachid Ghezzal to unlock Metz’s staunch defence as the Algeria international picked out his captain for his fifth goal in three matches.

It appeared as though Kylian Mbappe’s absence – which Leonardo Jardim suggested was partially due to him not being in the right frame of mind amid ongoing speculation over his future – would prove costly when substitute Guido Carillo headed against the post, but Falcao’s effort sealed a third straight win to start their title defence.

Monaco struggled to create early openings and only tested Thomas Didillon with a tame Rony Lopes shot during the opening 20 minutes.

The match began to open up after the half-hour mark and a heavy touch cost young Monaco forward Adama Diakhaby a clear sight on goal, while Danijel Subasic smothered a near-post chance for Nolan Roux at the other end.

Lopes went closest to a first-half opener in the closing minutes when he drew an exceptional save from Didillon, who flew to his right to palm a curling effort around the post.

Jardim sent striker Carillo on in place of Lopes at half-time and the Argentine striker went within inches of breaking the deadlock in the 59th minute, heading Joao Moutinho’s free-kick against the base of the upright.

Metz steadied and produced a series of crucial defensive blocks, first to deny debutant Ghezzal before Jonathan Rivierez flung himself into the path of Thomas Lemar’s goal-bound attempt.

Didillon continued to frustrate the visitors by acrobatically pushing away a powerful Kamil Glik header as the contest ticked towards a stalemate.

However, Ghezzal showed why Jardim brought the former Lyon man in on a free transfer by dinking a delightful ball over the top for Falcao to cushion and finish clinically around Didillon, earning Monaco a place in the record books.