Falcao Scores Monaco Winner As Nice Secure Champions League Berth
Radamel Falcao earned Monaco a 2-1 comeback against relegation-threatened Dijon to sit three points clear atop the Ligue 1 table, while Balotelli-less Nice were still involved in the three-team title race after beating Nancy 3-1 at home on Saturday.
Recording a 3-2 road victory over Dortmund in midweek’s Champions League less than 24 hours following a bomb attack on the Bundesliga side’s bus, Monaco’s head coach Leonardo Jardim made four changes to the starting line-up.
Dijon, second from the bottom, shocked the Ligue 1 leaders late in the first half, as their captain Cedric Varrault followed in to score the rebound after Julio Tavares’ header was denied by Monaco goalkeeper Danijel Subasic.
Monaco’s top scorer Falcao was introduced in with half an hour remaining, before his free-kick steered Nabil Dirar to tie the score in the 69th minute.
Falcao finished a curling free-kick with nine minutes to go, his 18th league goal of the season, which helped Monaco extend their unbeaten run in the league to 14 matches.
Without Italian striker Mario Balotelli due to suspension, Nice also came back from one goal down for a home win. Maurice Dale helped struggling Nancy go up on 26 minutes, but the visitors’ one-goal lead was cleared just ten minutes later by Nice forward Mickael Le Bihan, who made his first league start since September 2015.
Jean Michael Seri turned the table for Nice with a spot-kick in the 51st minute, before recording a brace as he latched onto Valentin Eysseric’s pass and sent it into the far corner.
Defending champions Paris Saint-Germain beat Angers 2-0 on Friday.
In Saturday’s other matches, Guingamp edged past Toulouse 2-1, Metz drew 2-2 with Caen, Montpellier downed Lorient 2-0, and Rennes beat Lille 2-0.