Sep 302017
 
Monaco held by Montpellier

PARIS: French champions Monaco missed the chance to go top of Ligue 1 as Souleymane Camara struck an injury-time equaliser to snatch Montpellier a 1-1 draw at the Stade Louis II on Friday. After a slow start, Monaco struck first in the 38th minute as the red-hot Radamel Falcao slid in to score, but Montpellier kept their hosts at arm’s length and Camara stunned the home crowd. Leonardo Jardim’s men trail league leaders Paris Saint-Germain on goal difference. Monaco went into the game after a surprising 3-0 Champions League loss at home to Porto in midweek. Jardim responded by making five changes to his starting XI, welcoming back goalkeeper Danijel Subasic from injury, as well as reinstating close-season signing Stevan Jovetic alongside Falcao up front. Montpellier, who held PSG to a 0-0 draw last weekend, began the match on the front foot and they could have taken the lead when Pedro Mendes found himself with space inside the area, but the centre-back curled too close to Subasic. Monaco were not much-improved from the Porto defeat, but broke through before half-time as winger Rony Lopes got behind the away defence and crossed low for Falcao, who managed to bundle the ball over the line from point-blank range. Falcao has now scored 12 goals in just eight Ligue 1 games this season.   Click for detailed story

Sep 172017
 
Falcao double gets Monaco back on track

PARIS: Radamel Falcao grabbed a brace as French champions Monaco bounced back from last week’s thrashing by Nice with a 3-0 win over Strasbourg at the Stade Louis II on Saturday. The hosts started slowly, but took the lead on the stroke of half-time through Rony Lopes’ first goal for the club.Falcao made the points safe early in the second period, before completing his double in the 67th minute. The three points move Monaco level on points with early Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain, who host Lyon on Sunday.Monaco were looking to respond after seeing their record 16-match winning run in the league ended by a 4-0 thumping at Nice last week. The principality outfit have actually had a better start to this season than 12 months ago, when they also lost 4-0 at Nice in September before going on to win the title. Jardim gave Montenegrin forward Stevan Jovetic and winger Rachid Ghezzal their full debuts after close-season moves from Inter Milan and Lyon respectively, in the only two changes from the side that claimed a 1-1 draw at RB Leipzig in their Champions League opener on Wednesday. But promoted Strasbourg more than held their own for the first half an hour, and almost took the lead when Ivorian midfielder Jean-Eudes Aholou headed over from only three yards out.The hosts were a shadow of the side that stormed to last season’s title and started this campaign with four straight wins, but they broke the shackles in the 44th minute. [Read More…]

Aug 272017
 
Mbappe watches from bench as Monaco maul Marseille

Kylian Mbappe was left on the bench as Radamel Falcao scored twice in Monaco’s 6-1 trouncing of Marseille in Ligue 1 on Sunday.Four of the goals came in the first half at the Stade Louis II, with captain Falcao’s brace falling in between strikes from Kamil Glik and Adama Diakhaby. Djibril Sidibe and Fabinho, with a penalty, completed the rout after the break.The reigning champions have won four out of four games to start the season and sit second on goal difference behind leaders Paris Saint-Germain, the only other team with a perfect record at the end of August.Monaco’s record-breaking run of victories in France’s top flight now stretches to 16, and they have scored 18 goals in their last four games against Marseille, winning the lot.Marseille, for whom Remy Cabella grabbed a consolation, had not lost in 14 Ligue 1 matches but they were outclassed by a Monaco side clearly not perturbed by the speculation surrounding Mbappe’s future.The 18-year-old French international striker, one of the stars of last season’s run to the title, is on the brink of completing a much talked about move to PSG that would end a summer-long transfer saga.A deal for Mbappe could be worth as much as 180 million euros ($215 million), making him the second most expensive player in football history behind Neymar, who joined PSG from Barcelona for 222 million euros earlier this month.The principality club have also lost Tiemoue Bakayoko, Bernardo Silva, Benjamin Mendy and Valere Germain since their stunning title [Read More…]

Jul 252017
 
Real Madrid reach Mbappe deal with Monaco - report

MADRID: Real Madrid have reached agreement to sign Kylian Mbappe from Monaco for a world record 180 million euros ($210m, £160m), Spanish media reported on Tuesday.Sports daily Marca, citing sources close to the negotiations, said the teenage striker is expected to joining Real “in the next few days” on a six year deal.French newspapers Le Parisien and Nice Matin said Monaco had denied the report. But Marca insisted that Real are set to pay between 150-160m euros with add-ons of between 20 and 30m, dwarfing the current world transfer record of 105m Manchester United paid to lure Paul Pogba from Juventus last year.Real are looking to fill the void left by Alvaro Morata who joined English Premier League champions Chelsea last Friday.If he does arrive at Zinedine Zidane´s European champions the 18-year-old will be on a net annual salary of “seven million” euros, Marca said.Mbappe, under contract at Monaco until 2019, has been wooed by some of Europes’ top clubs, including Monaco’s arch Ligue rivals Paris Saint-Germain.Last week Monaco issued a warning to the likes of Real and PSG to lay off their starlet.“Top European football clubs made contact with Kylian Mbappé and his entourage without our authorisation,” Monaco said on their website.The club said they wanted to remind these clubs that such actions are contrary to French and international regulations.Mbappe scored six goals in 10 Champions League outings and 15 in Ligue 1 as he exploded onto the scene in the second half of last season.On Monday Monaco lost [Read More…]

Jun 152017
 
French sensation Mbappe surprised by meteoric rise

PARIS: At just 18 years of age, Kylian Mbappe is the hottest property in football and the French sensation admits that he has been surprised by how quickly his star has risen. “I always had lots of imagination when I was little, so I am not going to say that I hadn’t imagined it,” Mbappe told AFP in an interview when asked if he expected to have won a league title and become a full international at such a young age. “I imagined succeeding early, but I didn’t really think things would happen so quickly. “Of course I always believed. The players who have succeeded in their careers are the ones who believed in themselves.” Billed as the new Thierry Henry, Mbappe made his top-flight debut for Monaco in December 2015 when still aged just 16, but it is in the last six months that he has gone from a player of great promise to one of the biggest stars in Europe. He scored 15 goals to help Monaco win a first French title since 2000 and won his first cap for France in March. He is now being linked to mega-money moves to one of the continent’s biggest sides this close season, with Real Madrid leading the chase alongside the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and both Manchester clubs. On Tuesday, he earned his fourth cap for Les Bleus, starring in a 3-2 friendly victory over England in front of almost 80,000 fans at the Stade de France The following [Read More…]

Apr 262017
 
PSG rout Monaco to reach French Cup final

PARIS: Edinson Cavani celebrated his new contract with his 45th goal of the season as holders Paris Saint-Germain demolished an inexperienced Monaco 5-0 to reach next month’s French Cup final against Angers. Julian Draxler prodded PSG ahead on 26 minutes at the Parc des Princes and Cavani, who on Tuesday signed an extension through to 2020, swiftly doubled the lead as Unai Emery’s side dominated their understrength opponents. Safwan Mbae bundled into his own net just after half-time and Blaise Matuidi tapped in a fourth before Marquinhos rounded out a resounding victory in the final minute. PSG thrashed Monaco 4-1 at the start of the month to lift their fourth straight League Cup title and are chasing a third successive sweep of the domestic trophies in France. However, Monaco lead the reigning champions on goal difference with a game in hand in Ligue 1 — Leonardo Jardim’s team also face Juventus next week in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final. With the Portuguese prioritising Europe and Saturday’s league clash against Toulouse, Andrea Raggi and Valere Germain were the only regulars to start for Monaco in the French capital. Abdou Diallo forced Alphonse Areola into an excellent save to his right with a header on 20 minutes, but the floodgates opened for PSG once Morgan De Sanctis gifted Draxler the opening goal. Monaco’s 40-year-old reserve goalkeeper spilled a straightforward effort from Angel Di Maria, allowing Cavani to nip in and divert the ball across goal for Draxler to slot [Read More…]

Mar 122017
 
Guardiola eyes silverware on multiple fronts

MIDDLESBROUGH, United Kingdom: Pep Guardiola insists he is keeping all his options open as he pursues a trophy in his first season at Manchester City. Guardiola’s side are still in contention in the Premier League and Champions League, but the City manager appears equally committed to success in the FA Cup. Facing a quarter-final at Premier League strugglers Middlesbrough on Saturday, Guardiola admirably resisted the temptation to rest several of his most influential players with a Champions League trip to Monaco only four days away. The Spaniard was rewarded with a 2-0 victory that represented the ideal preparation for Wednesday’s game where they lead 5-3 after the last-16 first leg, and a daunting run of Premier League fixtures against Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea. “Now we need to take things step by step and see which rivals we are going to face in the semi-finals. “This is a big step for us and now we must try to go back for the final after the semi-final because the cup is very important to us. “I get excited a lot about going to Wembley because I remember the old and the new stadium. We are so happy to be there and we are there because of the way we played. I’m so pleased with our performance.” Click for detailed story

Feb 212017
 
Aguero stars as Manchester City sink Monaco in thriller

MANCHESTER: Sergio Aguero starred as Manchester City beat Monaco 5-3 in a breathless and dizzyingly end-to-end Champions League last 16 first-leg encounter at a rocking Etihad Stadium on Tuesday. Raheem Sterling put City ahead, only for Kylian Mbappe to level and Radamel Falcao to score twice — the second goal a magnificent chip — as Leonardo Jardim’s side moved into a 3-2 lead. But City struck three times in the last 19 minutes, through Aguero’s second goal, John Stones and Leroy Sane, to put Pep Guardiola’s men in charge ahead of the return leg on March 15. For a long time it looked likely to be a scarring night for City, who reached the semi-finals last season, as a succession of calamitous defensive errors allowed Monaco to take control. But Aguero’s doggedness allowed them to haul themselves back into the game, abetted by Falcao’s failure to convert a penalty early in the second period. Having recently lost his place in the team to Gabriel Jesus, only to regain it after the Brazilian broke his foot, it was a personal triumph for Aguero, who departed to a standing ovation. Mbappe took Valere Germain’s place alongside Falcao in Monaco’s starting XI and the 18-year-old in the flourescent orange boots immediately caught the eye. He looked to run at City’s defence at every opportunity, at one point leaving Nicolas Otamendi for dead twice in five seconds before setting up Benjamin Mendy, who was thwarted by Willy Caballero. Kamil Glik’s evening got off to [Read More…]

Nov 222016
 
Real Madrid, Dortmund and Leicester qualify for last 16 while Spurs crashes out

Leicester kept their Champions League dreams aflame Tuesday, cruising into the last 16 with a 2-1 win over Belgium’s Club Brugge, where they were joined by Real Madrid — but not a crestfallen Tottenham. Joining the hopeful debutants and the holders on the night were Juventus, Bayer Leverkusen and Monaco. They join last year’s runners-up Atletico Madrid, Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, who had already booked their spot in the last 16 with two group games to spare. Leicester’s success saw the Foxes advance as Group G winners in their maiden season in the event, giving a major fillip to Claudio Ranieri’s side, who are just two points above the domestic drop zone. Shinji Okazaki netted after just five minutes and a Riyad Mahrez penalty made it 2-0 before Jose Izquierdo notched a second-half consolation for Brugge. “We wanted to finish first in the group. It wasn’t easy today but we did it,” said Foxes’ Algerian star Mahrez. The Colombian’s strike was the first goal Leicester have conceded in the tournament to date. As Leicester celebrated, Tottenham in contrast saw their adventure in Europe’s top club competition come to a grinding halt after a 2-1 loss at Monaco, who won Group E in the process. Spurs had a let off when their French keeper Hugo Lloris saved Radamel Falcao’s early spotkick. But quickfire goals from Djibril Sidibe and Thomas Lemar just after the break, sandwiching a Harry Kane penalty, did for the Londoners. In the same group Bayer Leverkusen drew 1-1 at CSKA [Read More…]

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