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Falcao brace takes Monaco top of Ligue 1

Press Association logoPress Association 4/02/2017

Radamel Falcao scored two second-half goals as Monaco moved three points clear in Ligue 1 with a 3-0 victory over 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 Nice, after they both began the match level on 49 points.

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.

Goalkeeper Yoan Cardinale was heroic in the first half for Nice but there was nothing he could do at the start of the second 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.

But Falcao was 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.

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