Radamel Falcao, after tough spells at Man United and Chelsea, scores first Monaco goal after 755 days

A towering Radamel Falcao header helped send Monaco top of Ligue 1 on Saturday as a 3-0 home win over Rennes saw them leapfrog Paris Saint Germain.
Radamel Falcao, right, celebrates after opening the scoring for Monaco in the 3-0 Ligue 1 victory over Rennes. Valery Hache / AFP
Radamel Falcao, right, celebrates after opening the scoring for Monaco in the 3-0 Ligue 1 victory over Rennes. Valery Hache / AFP

A towering Radamel Falcao header helped send Monaco top of Ligue 1 on Saturday as a 3-0 home win over Rennes saw them leapfrog Paris Saint Germain.

The win means Leonardo Jardim’s Monaco have 13 points from five games ahead of PSG on 10, while Nice can join Monaco at the top with a win at Montpellier Sunday.

This was Monaco’s seventh consecutive win and follows a slick 2-1 triumph over Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley in the Uefa Champions League in midweek.

“The favourite to win the title, which will be a long haul, is Paris,” Jardim said.

“Nice, Lyon and Marseille have also invested in their teams, but we are a better side this season, more experienced and organised.”

More European football:

• Premier League: Arsenal, still very Arsenalish, writes Richard Jolly

• Primera Liga: Barcelona ‘take advantage of the space’

• Bundesliga: Bayern ‘show we have the best keeper in the world’

Falcao’s career has hit the buffers since leaving Atletico Madrid in 2013, enduring unsuccessful injury-blighted loan stints at Premier League clubs Manchester United and Chelsea.

But on Saturday, the 30-year-old Colombian leapt high at the back post and powered in a header in the 42nd minute to score his first goal for Monaco since August 2014, 755 days ago.

Rennes, who had made the long journey from Brittany, rarely had the south coast side in trouble and lost concentration as Thomas Lemar scored twice at the end of the game.

His first was a far post tap-in set up by Bernardo Silva and the second a lob which left Rennes keeper Benoit Costil watching the ball drop behind him into the net.

“That is one very good side and we won’t be the only ones to suffer here,” Rennes captain Pedro Mendes said.

Meanwhile, Bordeaux’s fungus-infected pitch at their new stadium was described as a “potato field” by disgruntled fans.

Adding to their problems, the home team also missed the chance to go second, suffering a 1-0 defeat as Karl Otoko Kembi’s strike in the 38th minute gave Angers a narrow win.

The second and third bottom sides Nancy and Nantes drew 1-1, but rock bottom Lorient celebrated their first points of the season after Benjamin Moukandjo slammed home a penalty on 76 minutes to seal a 1-0 win over Lille.

Lorient remain 20th, a point behind five clubs on four points.

High-flying Metz, now fourth on 10 points, drew 0-0 with Dijon in a match between two newly-promoted sides and where both missed a penalty each.

Toulouse came from behind for a 2-1 home win over Guingamp thanks to a penalty from Denmark’s Martin Braithewaite on 63 minutes and the winner from Jimmy Durmaz two minutes later.

It was a fourth league goal of the season from captain Braithewaite, who donates a €1,000 (Dh4,100) to charity every time he scores.

On Friday, Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani scored four goals past Caen in a 6-0 win for PSG.

Lucas Moura and Jean-Kevin Augustin added the other two goals after the break as PSG ended a run of three games without a win in all competitions.

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Published: September 18, 2016 04:00 AM

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