Monaco remains in Ligue 1 summit

BY foxsports • September 25, 2013

Radamel Falcao scored twice as Monaco comfortably reclaimed their place at the head of the Ligue 1 standings with a routine 3-0 win over Bastia at Stade Louis II.

Falcao struck late in either half and Emmanuel Riviere was also on target as the unbeaten principality club made it five wins from seven at the start of the new campaign. This result also means Falcao and Riviere remain Monaco's only goalscorers in the league this season, with the lethal duo combining for 13 goals so far.

The win sees Claudio Ranieri's troops maintain their two-point lead over champions Paris St Germain at the summit, with Marseille - who moved top after defeating St Etienne last night - bumped back to third. It was the visitors who threatened first tonight, though, with Claudiu Keseru flashing an effort just wide from Ryad Boudebouz's fourth-minute corner.

Monaco soon settled to their task and in the 24th minute Andrea Raggi's cross was met with a full-blooded volley by Riviere but Mickael Landreau stuck up a strong hand to make a superb reflex stop.

Bastia went close again minutes later when Wahbi Khazri's powerful low drive had Danijel Subasic scrambling to make a tidy stop down low. Layvin Kurzawa's overhead kick brought the best out of Landreau moments later, but the home fans were soon celebrating the opener.

Six minutes before the break James Rodriguez picked out the run of Riviere with a precise through-ball and the striker did the rest with a tidy finish on the run to resister his sixth of the campaign. And two minutes later Monaco doubled their lead as Joao Moutinho lofted a pass into the area and Falcao ran through to drill a first-time effort beyond Landreau.

That also moved Falcao on to six league goals this season and he was denied a seventh two minutes into the second half when Landreau punched away his well-struck effort from the edge of the box. Landreau continued to impress as he kept the hosts at bay in the second half, but he had no answer in the final minute as Falcao moved one goal clear in his personal duel with Riviere when he fired home after Yannick Carasco had seen his initial effort blocked.

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