Tue, Sep 17, 2013 - Page 18 News List

LIGUE 1: Monaco edge Lorient, return to summit

AP, PARIS

Lorient goalkeeper Fabien Audard, right, trips AS Monaco’s Radamel Falcao in their Ligue 1 match at Stade Louis II in Monaco on Sunday.

Photo: AFP

Newly promoted AS Monaco beat Lorient 1-0 in Ligue 1 on Sunday to return to the top of the table.

Radamel Falcao won and converted a penalty in the sixth minute for his fourth goal of the season. The Colombia striker had been tripped by Lorient goalkeeper Fabien Audard.

Falcao was signed from Atletico Madrid in a summer deal worth an estimated 60 million euros (US$79 million).

Lorient offered little in attack all match. Sadio Diallo thought he had equalized in the 26th minute, but his effort was ruled out for offside.

Monaco moved back to top spot, a point ahead of AS Saint-Etienne. They have won four of their opening five matches.

The principality club and defending champions Paris Saint-Germain — who are two points behind — remain the only unbeaten sides in Ligue 1. The two sides meet in a mouthwatering clash on Sunday.

“I was a bit angry at the end of the match, because it was comfortable and then we made it difficult for ourselves at the end,” Monaco coach Claudio Ranieri said.

“We were leading 1-0, it was very important for us to keep the ball, but we were very tired, the players traveled all around the world with their national teams. It was very difficult,” he said.

“Nevertheless, there is a week to recover,” he added. “I hope it will be another Monaco against PSG next Sunday, but I’m still happy as when you win this type of match, when it’s difficult, it’s a good sign.”

Elsewhere on Sunday, LOSC Lille Metropole slipped to their first home defeat since March as they lost 2-0 to OGC Nice.

The visitors scored with their first chance of the match, in the 20th minute, when Christian Bruls back-heeled Gregoire Puel’s cross on for Dario Cvitanich to drill into the right corner.

Cvitanich doubled his and his team’s tally on the stroke of halftime. Lille lost the ball and Bruls set off on a counterattack down the right flank, before picking out Cvitanich, who drove an angled shot into the opposite corner.

Lille almost got straight back into the game after the break, but OGC Nice goalkeeper David Ospina pulled off a double save to deny Franck Beria and Ronny Rodelin, before Salomon Kalou saw his effort crash off the post.

Stade Rennais secured a 0-0 draw at Olympique Lyonnais in the evening match.

The visitors were obviously playing for the draw and they offered little in attack, focusing instead on defense.

Lyon had 11 shots in the second half alone, with Bafetimbi Gomis seeing his effort crash off the crossbar in the 67th minute.

Rennes are fifth, a point above Lyon.

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