Red-Hot Falcao Stars As Monaco Thrash Lille

 

Monaco’s Colombian forward Radamel Falcao celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match between Lille OSC (LOSC) and Monaco on September 22, 2017 at the Pierre-Mauroy Stadium. DENIS CHARLET / AFP

Radamel Falcao scored a brace as French champions Monaco romped to a 4-0 thumping of Lille at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy on Friday to pile the pressure on home coach Marcelo Bielsa.

Stevan Jovetic and Rachid Ghezzal put Monaco in control at half-time with their first goals for the club since joining from Inter Milan and Lyon respectively.

The in-form Falcao piled more misery onto the hosts with a second-half brace to reach 11 league goals for the season.

Monaco move level on points with early leaders Paris Saint-Germain, who visit Montpellier on Saturday.

New Lille coach Bielsa is under increasing pressure, as his men are now winless in six matches since their opening-day victory over Nantes, a run during which they have only scored once.

The Argentinian had insisted earlier in the week that he would not walk out on the club like he did at Marseille two years ago, but his team’s pitiful display could test his resolve.

Monaco started on the front foot against a Lille outfit shot of confidence.

After winger Rony Lopes had gone close, former Manchester City striker Jovetic grabbed the opening goal in the 24th minute.

The Montenegrin international created space for a shot with a clever turn, before picking out the bottom corner from the edge of the box for his first goal for Leonardo Jardim’s men.

It didn’t take long for another close-season signing to get off the mark for the principality outfit, as former Lyon winger Ghezzal made it two six minutes later.

Full-back Almamy Toure, playing in place of the suspended Djibril Sidibe, burst down the right-hand side and picked out the onrushing Ghezzal, who slammed the ball past home goalkeeper Mike Maignan.

A hapless Lille finally had a shot in anger on the stroke of half-time, as Luiz Araujo fired wide.

That effort proved to be a false ray of hope though, as Monaco captain Falcao became the first player to reach 10 goals in any of Europe’s top five leagues this season just three minutes into the second period.

The Colombian showed his predatory instincts by meeting a rebound in the area with a bullet header into the back of the net.

Lopes had a shot well saved by Maignan after Falcao’s clever knock-down, before the former Manchester United flop converted a penalty to add further gloss to the scoreline.

The 31-year-old has now scored two or more goals four times in his seven league games so far this term.

In Friday’s first match, Mario Balotelli scored his sixth goal of the season in all competitions as Nice fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Angers at the Allianz Riviera.

The visitors forged ahead thanks to first-half goals from Mateo Pavlovic and Karl Toto Ekambi, but Balotelli’s spot-kick and Ismael Traore’s comical own goal handed Nice a point.

PSG will take on Montpellier without the injured Neymar for the first time since the Brazilian’s world record move from Barcelona, as they look to make it seven wins from seven to kick off the campaign.

AFP

Falcao Double Gets Monaco Back On Track

Monaco’s Colombian forward Radamel Falcao celebrates after scoring his second goal during the French L1 football match Monaco (ASM) vs Strasbourg on September 16, 2017, at Louis II Stadium in Monaco. YANN COATSALIOU / AFP

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.

Coach Leonardo 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 newly-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.

Ghezzal’s ball over the top picked out an intelligent run from Falcao, who squared for Lopes to prod the ball in at the back post.

The hosts didn’t have to wait long to score a second, as captain Falcao grabbed his league-leading eighth goal of the campaign six minutes into the second half.

Full-back Jorge’s low cross left the Colombian with the simple task of diverting the ball home.

Falcao wasn’t done there though, as he capitalised on Strasbourg captain Kader Mangane’s terrible mistake before lashing into the corner.

The 31-year-old has now scored two or more goals three times already in Ligue 1 this season.

On Friday, Brazilian Malcolm’s third goal of the campaign helped Bordeaux stay unbeaten with a 1-0 victory at Toulouse.

AFP

Cristiano Ronaldo Crowned FIFA Player Of The Year

Cristano RonaldoCristiano Ronaldo has been crowned FIFA Men’s Player Of The Year.

Ronaldo was announced winner on Monday in Zurich where the world’s best football players and coaches were recognised at the inaugural edition of “The Best Fifa Football Awards”.

The Ballon Dór winner beat Antoine Griezmann and Lionel Messi to win the award which was presented by FIFA President, Gianni Infantino.

“Wow. It’s incredible. It’s not the first time but this award is the first time.

“I want first to thank my team-mates, my coach. I want to thank my family, my whole staff.

“I tell you, 2016 was the best year of my career. I had a lot of doubts but the trophy showed that I lived up to that.

“After I won what I did, I had no doubts.

“It was a year that was magnificent on a personal level, on a sports level. I would like to thank very warmly everybody who voted for me.

“To the fans, to the other players, to the media: thank you,” he said.

Other winners on the night:

– The Best FIFA Women’s Player Award: Carli Lloyd.

– The Best FIFA Men’s Coach Award: Claudio Ranieri.

– The Best FIFA Women’s Coach Award: Silvia Neid.

– The FIFA Puskás Award 2016: Mohd Faiz Subri.

The FIFA Fair Play Award: Atletico National.

– The FIFA Fan Award: Dortmund fans and Liverpool fans.

– The FIFA lifetime achievement award: Falcao.

– The FIFA FIFPro World11: Neuer, Dani Alves, Pique, Ramos, Marcelo, Modric, Kroos, Iniesta, Messi, Suarez, Ronaldo.

 

Man United’s Louis Van Gaal Furious After Leicester Humiliation

Man UnitedLouis van Gaal has accused his shell-shocked Manchester United players of “throwing the game away” after their second-half collapse against Leicester City on Sunday.

Van Gaal was left stunned by a shambolic defensive performance from his reconstructed team and admitted it brought back painful memories.

Man United were looking good to achieve back-to-back wins in the Premier League for the first time under Louis van Gaal when leading 3-1 thanks to goals from Robin van Persie, Angel Di Maria and Ander Herrera.

However, the newly-promoted side hit back with devastating effect in the second half of the match.

Goals from David Nugent, Esteban Cambiasso, Jamie Vardy and Leonardo Ulloa saw Nigel Pearson’s men fight back from 2-0 and 3-1 down to win 5-3 and pick up their first win at the King Power Stadium in the Premier League.

After two home draws against Everton and Arsenal, the Foxes were looking for a big result against a rejuvenated Man Utd side who started with Falcao, Van Persie and Wayne Rooney in attack.

Reports say Manchester United manager, Louis van Gaal, gave his squad the famous Sir Alex Ferguson hairdryer treatment following the humiliating 5-3 loss.

This is according to Sky News anchor, Eamonn Holmes, who said he walked past the United dressing room after full-time and revealed that Van Gaal handed a stern dressing down.