Falcao’s brace lifts Monaco to victory against Montpellier


Fri, Feb 02, 2018 - Page 16

Radamel Falcao on Wednesday struck twice as AS Monaco saw off Montpellier Herault 2-0 to set up a Coupe de la Ligue final against Paris Saint-Germain.

Falcao put the hosts ahead in the 15th minute at the Stade Louis II, before Monaco were denied a penalty by the video assistant referee (VAR) system.

He doubled the lead before the half-hour mark, and while Rony Lopes had a second-period strike ruled out by the VAR for offside, Leonardo Jardim’s men eased to victory to book a final date with PSG on March 31.

The reigning Ligue 1 champions will be looking for a measure of revenge after being thrashed 4-1 by PSG in last year’s final.

“He [Falcao] hadn’t scored in three games, but everyone knows he’s a big player and all players know there are times when they don’t score,” Monaco coach Jardim said. “Now we have time to think about the final, we will prepare better for the final than last season.”

The hosts started brightly, with Andrea Raggi seeing a shot saved by Montpellier goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte, but they did not have to wait long to take the lead.

Fullback Djibril Sidibe burst his way through before laying the ball off for captain Falcao to sweep home.

Monaco thought they had been awarded a penalty just seconds later when Stevan Jovetic was brought down by Lecomte, but a VAR review showed that the goalkeeper had played the ball before taking down the Montenegrin international.

Montpellier, who were thrashed 4-0 by PSG last weekend, continued to struggle and Monaco doubled their lead in the 29th minute.

Fabinho unlocked the away defense with a clever pass, before Lopes broke free and crossed for Falcao to tap in his 22nd goal of the season in all competitions.

Lopes thought he had added further gloss to the scoreline with 22 minutes to play, but another referral to the VAR showed that Falcao was narrowly offside before laying the ball back to the Portuguese midfielder.