Radamel Falcao

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Ligue 1: Falcao, Balde score to keep Monaco close to PSG

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PARIS (AP) French champion Monaco got back to winning ways with a 2-0 home win against Caen on Saturday.

Monaco lost three and drew one of its previous four games in all competitions. But coach Leonardo Jardim’s side was largely in control against a Caen side that started brightly and faded after Keita Balde’s opening goal and first for Monaco.

“It was important to win, to get a bit of confidence back,” Jardim said. “We’ve been working hard and the players were very serious today.”

Captain Radamel Falcao scored his league-leading 13th from the penalty spot in the 59th, confidently sending goalkeeper Remy Vercoutre the wrong way.

The win moved second-place Monaco within three points of Paris Saint-Germain, having played one game more. Unbeaten PSG is away at bitter rival Marseille on Sunday.

Falcao’s partnership with teen star Kylian Mbappe was crucial to Monaco’s charge to the league title and the Champions League semifinals last season. Mbappe left to join PSG in a high-profile move — as did several other key players — but Falcao’s new partnership with the unselfish Balde looks a promising one.

“We’ve lost a few players and we need a bit of time, it’s been a bit difficult for us,” Monaco goalkeeper Danijel Subasic said. “I hope we can stay at the top of the table and that the young players can shine. We have a lot of quality here.”

Balde has been sharp in his handful of appearances since joining from Lazio in the offseason, but mainly as a link player and a provider.

This time, the Senegal forward finished off the move as he ran onto Thomas Lemar’s perfectly weighted pass into his path, cut across a defender on the edge of the penalty area and slotted the ball into the bottom left corner.

Lemar almost created another goal when his corner was headed against the crossbar by Brazilian defender Jemerson late in the first half.

Falcao put the game beyond doubt from the spot after Slovenian midfielder Jan Repas fouled attacking midfielder Rony Lopes.


After a tricky start to his tenure at Nantes, Italian coach Claudio Ranieri has turned things around.

Nantes beat Guingamp 2-1 at home to move up to third place, extending Ranieri’s unbeaten run to eight matches after losing the first two.

Nantes, which scored through defender Chidozie Awaziem and midfielder Abdoulaye Toure, is just two points behind Monaco.

Ligue 1: Falcao scores hat trick as Monaco beats Dijon 4-1

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PARIS (AP) Radamel Falcao scored a hat trick as Monaco posted a 14th straight win in the French league in a 4-1 thrashing of Dijon on Sunday.

The Colombia striker needed just three minutes to put the defending champions in command and added two more goals in the 38th and 51st minutes.

Jemerson was also on the scoresheet for the visitors in the 25th, and Wesley Said pulled one back for Dijon just before halftime.

Monaco is unbeaten in the league since December last year and equaled Bordeaux’s record of 14 consecutive wins, set in August 2009. It moved level on points with leader Lyon, with two wins in two matches of the new season.

With Kylian Mbappe expected to leave in the coming weeks, Monaco can still count on Falcao’s superb skills to score goals. Falcao now has four goals in two league games after scoring last weekend in a 3-1 win against Toulouse, while Mbappe stayed on the bench in Dijon.

Falcao’s goal instinct was on display as he made no mistake from close range after the hosts failed to clear a corner. Jemerson made it 2-0 from another corner and Falcao curled a superb shot into the top right corner to extend Monaco’s lead.

Said kept Dijon’s hopes alive with a shot between the legs of `keeper Danijel Subasic. It was a short-lived respite for the hosts as Falcao met a cross from Thomas Lemar to seal his team’s win with a header six minutes into the second half.

Milan reportedly meeting with Mendes re: Costa, Sanches, Falcao

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AC Milan’s big summer could get downright massive, according to a sensational report out of Italy.

It’d be fair to assume some think it already has been, given the captures of Leonardo Bonucci, Andre Silva, Mateo Musacchio, Franck Kessie, Ricardo Rodriguez, Hakan Çalhanoğlu, and Lucas Biglia.

Right?

[ MORE: Dom Dwyer traded ]

Well, Sky Sports in Italy is reporting that super agent Jorge Mendes is meeting with i Rossoneri regarding not one but three of his clients, each of whom is well-known by European soccer fans.

The biggest name is Diego Costa, who would likely be gone from Chelsea already if Atletico Madrid wasn’t under a transfer ban.

The report also names AS Monaco striker Radamel Falcao and Bayern Munich youngster Renato Sanches, who was considered one of the top summer transfers this time last year.

The 31-year-old Falcao scored 30 goals for Moncao in his return from the Premier League, while Sanches had this to say about a potential move away from the Allianz Arena:

“I’m young, I have to play a lot. I think the chance to do so is greater in Milan than in Munich.

“I want to play more consistently and [a move to] AC Milan is a very interesting option. If the two clubs reach an agreement, I would be happy to join the Rossoneri.”

Milan is participating in the Europa League this year in addition to Serie A, and already has terrific depth to take a chance at winning both.

Agent Jorge Mendes appears before judge in Falcao tax probe

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MADRID (AP) Football agent Jorge Mendes has told a Spanish judge that he had no involvement in the financial planning of client Radamel Falcao, who has been accused by a state prosecutor of tax fraud.

Mendes, who is not accused of any wrongdoing, appeared before a judge in a Madrid court for 45 minutes on Tuesday as part of the probe into whether there are grounds for the case against Falcao to go to trial.

[ MORE: Lampard linked with manager opening ]

Mendes’ agency, Gestifute, released a statement saying that “neither he nor his employees have ever intervened in the creation of corporate structures for his clients and much less provided any tax advice to them.”

Last month, a state prosecutor accused Falcao of defrauding Spain’s Tax Office of around $6 million from 2012-13. The alleged unpaid taxes were from money the Colombian player made from endorsement deals through image rights, not from the salary he was then being paid from club Atletico Madrid. Falcao now plays for Monaco.

Monaco wins 1st French league title in 17 years

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PARIS (AP) Monaco sealed its first French title since 2000 and an eighth overall on Wednesday with a 2-0 win over Saint-Etienne.

With one match left to play this weekend, Monaco has an unassailable six-point lead over second-place Paris Saint-Germain, the defending champions.

[ MORE: Huddersfield Town to Wembley ]

Despite losing to Juventus in the Champions League semifinals, Monaco has thrilled Europe with its attacking football, scoring 155 goals in all competitions and reaching 104 in the league, two more than PSG’s league tally last year.

Led by the strike duo of Radamel Falcao and rising star Kylian Mbappe, Monaco averaged nearly three goals per game this season to end PSG’s four-year dominance.

Unbeaten in the league in 2017, Monaco has also scored in its last 31 league games, a new record during a single season.