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2016/17 French Ligue 1, Regular Season
  • Valère Germain (47')
  • Radamel Falcao (60', 81')

Radamel Falcao scores twice as Monaco ease past Nice

Radamel Falcao scored two second-half goals as Monaco moved three points clear in Ligue 1 with a 3-0 victory in their much-anticipated top-of-the-table derby at home to Nice.

Valere Germain's 47th-minute header put Monaco in front before Falcao doubled up with a tap-in on the hour and then his 14th goal of the campaign 10 minutes from time at the Stade Louis II Stadium.

Both goalscorers owed much to the brilliant crossing of Benjamin Mendy as Monaco put distance between themselves and their nearest pursuers, after they and Nice had begun the match level on 49 points each.

Free-scoring Monaco predictably found the going tougher initially against Nice's miserly defence, but Germain cracked the code -- and then former Chelsea and Manchester United forward Falcao cashed in.

Nice dominated possession but Monaco had the chances in a tight first half.

Jean Michel Seri almost played Nice into big trouble before Dante mopped up at the back to keep Falcao at bay. Then Mendy found space to cross, but Falcao was unable to supply the finish with his 16th-minute header.

Nice thought, momentarily, they had gone in front two minutes later -- but Alassane Plea's effort was ruled out for offside.

Just after the half-hour, Valentin Eysseric tried to do some damage against his old club only for his left-footer to fly just wide of Danijel Subasic's post.

Yoan Cardinale had already been the busier of the two goalkeepers, and was alert again in the 36th minute to keep it scoreless as he pushed Bernardo Silva's shot over the bar.

There was nothing Cardinale could do, though, at the start of the second half when Mendy put things right for Monaco with a wonderful cross and Germain did it perfect justice with an unstoppable header.

Falcao made no mistake either with Monaco's second, finishing off more fine work pushing up the wing from left-back Mendy after Thomas Lemar and Silva had also been involved in a fine move.

Nice responded with a neat interchange on the edge of the penalty area between Plea and substitute Younes Belhanda, whose volley cleared the bar.

The visitors were not quite done with yet, and Plea almost got a goal back when his header from inside the six-yard box went just over.

But Falcao was also not finished, and made it 3-0 with a precise left-foot shot after Mendy yet again helped to provide the chance and Lemar pulled the ball back into the Colombian's path.

Monaco were thankful to Subasic for protecting their advantage, keeping out Plea's late header -- before Eysseric was denied consolation when he hit the post from close range in stoppage time -- as Leonardo Jardim's men ensured a telling revenge for September's 4-0 defeat away to their title rivals.