Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Metz 0 Monaco 1: Falcao´s late winner seals record-breaking victory

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 18 Aug 2017

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Monaco set a new Ligue 1 record for consecutive victories with Radamel Falcao securing their 15th in succession via a 1-0 win away to Metz on Friday.

Falcao’s classy 78th-minute winner ensured a frustrating night ended on a record-breaking note as Monaco surpassed the 14 straight triumphs accumulated by Bordeaux in 2009.

The champions needed a piece of inspiration from new signing Rachid Ghezzal to unlock Metz’s staunch defence as the Algeria international picked out his captain for his fifth goal in three matches.

It appeared as though Kylian Mbappe’s absence – which Leonardo Jardim suggested was partially due to him not being in the right frame of mind amid ongoing speculation over his future – would prove costly when substitute Guido Carillo headed against the post, but Falcao’s effort sealed a third straight win to start their title defence.

Monaco struggled to create early openings and only tested Thomas Didillon with a tame Rony Lopes shot during the opening 20 minutes.

The match began to open up after the half-hour mark and a heavy touch cost young Monaco forward Adama Diakhaby a clear sight on goal, while Danijel Subasic smothered a near-post chance for Nolan Roux at the other end.

Lopes went closest to a first-half opener in the closing minutes when he drew an exceptional save from Didillon, who flew to his right to palm a curling effort around the post.

Jardim sent striker Carillo on in place of Lopes at half-time and the Argentine striker went within inches of breaking the deadlock in the 59th minute, heading Joao Moutinho’s free-kick against the base of the upright.

Metz steadied and produced a series of crucial defensive blocks, first to deny debutant Ghezzal before Jonathan Rivierez flung himself into the path of Thomas Lemar’s goal-bound attempt.

Didillon continued to frustrate the visitors by acrobatically pushing away a powerful Kamil Glik header as the contest ticked towards a stalemate.

However, Ghezzal showed why Jardim brought the former Lyon man in on a free transfer by dinking a delightful ball over the top for Falcao to cushion and finish clinically around Didillon, earning Monaco a place in the record books.

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