Falcao’s phenomenal finishing leaves Cavani and Neymar in his wake

Radamel Falcao has laid down the gauntlet to Edinson Cavani and Neymar with his phenomenal finishing for Monaco this season.

The Colombian striker, who was written off by many on the back of two frustrating loan spells at Manchester United and Chelsea, has been rejuvenated in the last 18 months.

His efforts in 2016-17 helped Monaco to the Ligue 1 title, and he has picked up where he left off this term despite losing attacking partner Kylian Mbappe to Paris Saint-Germain.

Falcao already has nine efforts to his name to lead the French top-flight scoring charts, with that return coming from just 10 shots on target.

Falcao netted 21 times in Ligue 1 last season, with Cavani and Alexandre Lacazette the only men to better that return.

Cavani has started positively again for PSG, with seven goals plundered so far in 2017-18.

Neymar, meanwhile, has managed four following his record-breaking €222 million move to the French capital.

They, along with Mbappe, will be looking to chase Falcao down as the season progresses, but they will have to go some if they are to match the South American’s remarkable conversion rate.

Monaco will be desperate for the 31-year-old to maintain his standards, as he has become a talismanic presence.

Falcao’s efforts so far this season have seen him reach a 40-year high in Ligue 1, with few players throughout history having managed to match his burst out of the blocks.

Falcao, who netted twice in a 3-0 victory over Strasbourg on Saturday, will go in search of more goals when Monaco travel to Lille on Friday.

Let’

Monaco 3 Strasbourg 0: Falcao bags brace as Jardim’s men bounce back

Radamel Falcao took his Ligue 1 goal tally to nine in six games this season with a brace against Strasbourg.

Monaco picked up their first win in three games as Radamel Falcao scored twice in a 3-0 Ligue 1 victory over Strasbourg.

Leonardo Jardim’s men were beaten 4-0 at Nice in their previous league outing and were held to a 1-1 draw by RB Leipzig in the Champions League, but a return to winning ways puts Monaco level on points with league leaders Paris Saint-Germain, who play Lyon on Sunday.

Stevan Jovetic saw his wonderful chipped shot from the edge of the box beat Strasbourg goalkeeper Bingourou Kamara but come back off the crossbar after just seven minutes as Monaco made a bright start.

Jean Eudes Aholou should have scored for Strasbourg when he was gifted a free header right in front of goal after 34 minutes but he lifted the ball over the crossbar when it seemed easier to score, and he was left to rue the miss as the first goal arrived 10 minutes later when Rachid Ghezzal played in Rony Lopes to score from close range.

Falcao made it 2-0 with a simple tap-in six minutes into the second half, side-footing the ball over the line from point blank range after Jorge’s cross found him unmarked in the six-yard box.

Monaco goalkeeper Diego Benaglio made a superb save to deny Dimitri Lienard after 56 minutes, diving the full length of his goal to parry the powerful low shot away one-handed.

Falcao had a goal ruled out for offside after an hour but he made amends seven minutes later when Strasbourg captain Kader Mangane fell to the ground, allowing the Colombian striker to lash the ball into the net unchallenged and wrap up the victory.

Let’

Colombia 1 Brazil 1: Falcao checks Selecao streak with vital equaliser

Willian gave Brazil the lead in spectacular fashion in Barranquilla but in-form Radamel Falcao grabbed a 1-1 draw for Colombia.

Radamel Falcao denied Brazil a 10th consecutive World Cup qualifying win and grabbed a vital 1-1 draw for Colombia in their own quest to reach Russia 2018.

Brazil’s place in the finals is secure as group winners after dominating the notoriously unforgiving CONMEBOL section under the guidance of head coach Tite, and they looked set to continue their march when Willian magnificently opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time.

Colombia went into the game at the head of devilishly congested chasing pack and seasoned striker Falcao brought his prolific Monaco form to a raucous Estadio Metropolitano in Barranquilla.

Jose Pekerman’s men now have 26 points, only three more than Argentina in fifth, but Chile’s defeat in Bolivia guarantees they will enter next month’s concluding qualifiers against Paraguay and Peru in one of the four automatic qualification places.

Falcao has seven goals in four Ligue 1 games so far this season and the second-half header by Colombia’s all-time record goalscorer was excellently dispatched.

Another man tussling for top honours in France this year, Neymar, was unable to similarly get on the scoresheet despite an inventive, all-action showing.

Torrents of boos greeted Brazil whenever they enjoyed early possession but Paulinho almost smuggled home an opener at the far post from Dani Alves’ deep cross after Neymar initiated a fourth-minute counter attack.

Felipe Luis clattering through Juan Cuadrado did little to endear the Brazil left-back to the home faithful, while Alves was on the end of similarly robust treatment from Colombia winger Edwin Cardona as the contest threatened to boil over.

Play restarted from the latter stoppage with a Brazil corner and Cardona made a nuisance of himself once again – blocking on the line when Fernandinho prodded goalwards.

James finally gave Brazil goalkeeper Allison some work to do at his near post as the half ticked past its halfway point, although he did not make a clean contact on the end of Cardona’s fine reverse pass.

After a hydration break, Neymar tore at the Colombia backline and Roberto Firmino scuffed his shot towards the bottom right corner, forcing David Ospina to tip to safety.

Neymar was made to wait to take a corner as a dog entered the field and was reluctant to leave – moving the match into first-half stoppage time, when Brazil spectacularly took the lead.

The set-piece was cleared by Colombia but the ball was lifted back towards goal, Neymar’s volleyed lay-off sat up invitingly for Willian and the Chelsea winger brilliantly thrashed into the top corner from the edge of the area.

Pekerman’s decision to replace Cuadrado with Yimmi Chara did little to initially increase Colombia’s threat in the second half but they pulled level through a familiar source in the 56th minute.

Right-back Santiago Arias whipped in a fine ball from the right and Falcao escaped Silva’s attentions and expertly steered a header into the far corner.

The stadium erupted and Colombia were transformed – Cardona sending a piledriver into the chest of Allison, who was caught out by James free-kick from the left but spared by his near post.

Firmino was replaced by Gabriel Jesus as Brazil looked to reassert their authority and Neymar blasted wide inside the final 15 minutes.

A sprawling Fernandinho deflected James’ curling strike over in the 81st minute and there was no finish to match a dazzling Neymar dribble in response.

The world’s most expensive player then flung himself  into a headed back-post attempt but the goal to reward his endeavours did not arrive.

Let’

Mbappe-PSG links ‘complicated’, says Monaco striker Falcao

Radamel Falcao concedes Monaco find themselves in a “complicated situation” as Paris Saint-Germain seemingly close in on a deal for their prized asset Kylian Mbappe.

Teenage striker Mbappe is reportedly on the verge of joining title rivals PSG on an initial loan deal that includes a compulsory purchase option of €180million.

Neymar 9/2 to win Ballon d’Or in 2018

The transfer would make the France international the second most expensive player in history after Neymar, who joined PSG from Barcelona for €222m this month, with the Parisian club believed to be structuring the deal so as not to fall foul of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations.

Speaking after Monaco’s 6-1 thrashing of Marseille on Sunday, in which Falcao hit a brace and Mbappe remained an unused substitute, head coach Leonardo Jardim accepted the 18-year-old might soon leave.

Falcao was tellingly praised by Jardim as a “team player” afterwards and the Colombia international, formerly of Atletico Madrid and Manchester United, is sympathetic over the strains currently being placed upon Mbappe, with whom he formed a lethal partnership during the second half of last season.

“It’s a complicated situation,” he told reporters. “He’s a young man, he’s only 18. We have to think about him too and we have to stay calm.

“I hope that everything will be resolved quickly for him and for us.

“It’s a personal decision that every player could have. I respect it.”

Fabinho concluded Monaco’s scoring on Sunday from the penalty spot, the Brazilian midfielder having also been linked with PSG.

The Ligue 1 champions have lost Bernardo Silva and Benjamin Mendy to Manchester City, and Tiemoue Bakayoko to Chelsea from their title-winning side, while Liverpool have reportedly joined the clubs trying to sign winger Thomas Lemar.

Adama Diakhaby, a close-season signing from Rennes, joined Falcao in attack against Marseille and got on the scoresheet, and the France Under-21 forward was bullish over the prospects of Monaco retaining their remaining stars.

“Fabinho and Mbappe… I did not say goodbye to anyone,” he said.

Article continues below

“We said we’d meet again after the [international] break. What will happen will happen.”

Let’

Monaco set Ligue 1 record for consecutive wins

Monaco set a new Ligue 1 record for consecutive victories after Radamel Falcao secured their 15th straight with a 1-0 win over Metz on Friday.

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

Monaco 50/1 to win the Champions League

Playing without Kylian Mbappe, Falcao’s effort sealed a third straight win to start Monaco’s title defence.

The Colombian has now scored seven goals in the past five Ligue 1 matches, including four to open the new campaign.

Let’

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

Radamel Falcao struck with 12 minutes remaining as Monaco broke the record for consecutive Ligue 1 wins with their 15th in succession.

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.

Let’

Marvellous Monaco match Ligue 1 record for consecutive wins

Monaco equalled the record for consecutive wins in Ligue 1 with their 4-1 victory away to Dijon on Sunday.

Radamel Falcao’s hat-trick and a goal from Jemerson secured the champions’ 14th win in a row in the French top flight.

Get Monaco at 40/1 to win the Champions League

The run matches that achieved by Bordeaux between March and August in 2009.

Leonardo Jardim’s side join Lyon, Marseille and Saint-Etienne in winning their first two games of 2017-18. Paris Saint-Germain or Guingamp can do the same with a victory when they meet later on Sunday.

The reigning champions continue to impress despite seeing their first team gutted in a painful transfer window for Jardim. 

Ballon d’Or or bust for Neymar?

Bernardo Silva, Benjamin Mendy and Tiemoue Bakayoko all left Stade Louis II for the Premier League this summer, while Mbappe has been strongly linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid.

Article continues below

Indeed, the teenage sensation was absent on Sunday as his strike partner took centre-stage in another fine victory.

Let’

Dijon 1 Monaco 4: Falcao hat-trick fires champions to win as Mbappe watches on

Monaco romped to a 4-1 victory away to Dijon in Sunday’s Ligue 1 clash, with Radamel Falcao scoring a hat-trick.

A hat-trick from Radamel Falcao helped Monaco to a 4-1 win away to Dijon and maintained the champions’ winning start to the Ligue 1 season.

The Colombia striker’s treble and a superb finish from Jemerson gave Leonardo Jardim’s side a comfortable win, with Wesley Said netting what proved to be a consolation.

Kylian Mbappe returned to the matchday squad after picking up a knock but did not get off the substitutes’ bench as his side cruised to two victories from two games.

Monaco began their title defence with a battling 3-2 win over Toulouse but they were in much better control of proceedings on Sunday from the moment Falcao turned home from close range after three minutes following Kamil Glik’s header from a corner.

Jemerson made it 2-0 midway through the half with a brilliant bicycle kick from six yards out, before Falcao scored his second and Monaco’s third with a deflected effort that looped over goalkeeper Baptiste Reynet and into the top-right corner.

Said handed Dijon a lifeline with a superb piece of control and first-time finish through the legs of Danijel Subasic, but Falcao completed his hat-trick six minutes after the break to kill off any hopes of a comeback, heading in a delivery from Thomas Lemar.

Let’

Milan CEO won’t rule out moving for Falcao or Ibrahimovic

Former Manchester United star Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Monaco striker Radamel Falcao are being considered by AC Milan, according to CEO Marco Fassone.

Ibrahimovic is a free agent and recovering from a serious knee injury after he was released by United and the 35-year-old has been linked with a return to Milan.

Milan 6/1 to win the league

He spent two seasons at San Siro, winning the Serie A title in 2010-11.

Falcao has also emerged as a possible signing to join the Milan revolution, which already includes Leonardo Bonucci, Andre Silva, Lucas Biglia, Andrea Conti, Hakan Calhanoglu, Ricardo Rodriguez, Mateo Musacchio, Franck Kessie and Fabio Borini.

Asked about Ibrahimovic and Falcao amid links with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Diego Costa, Andrea Belotti and Nikola Kalinic, Fassone told Sky Sport Italia: “We continue talking about a striker, but must use our time wisely.

“We’re working on it, there mustn’t be any sense of haste, as we don’t want to make a mistake.”

While the club is not going to rush to make a signing, Fassone doesn’t seem to be ruling out anybody. 

“So far I haven’t said no to any of the names that have been mentioned, and I won’t say no to Falcao either, but among the six or seven names that have been suggested we’ve been closer to some than others,” Fassone continued.

Neymar gets PSG number 10 shirt

“The doubt we had was whether to make such a significant revolution of the squad or a gradual growth, but Massimiliano Mirabelli and I made this courageous decision and we hope it was the right one.

“We see this as not a one-year project, but over two or three years.”

Article continues below

Milan advanced to the Europa League play-off round thanks to Thursday’s 2-0 victory over CSU Craiova, which sealed a 3-0 aggregate triumph.

Let’

Monaco 0 PSV 0: Kylian Mbappe draws another blank in friendly draw

Monaco failed to break down PSV in a pre-season friendly, despite starting Kylian Mbappe and Radamel Falcao in attack.

Kylian Mbappe drew a blank for the second match in as many days as Monaco drew 0-0 with PSV in Switzerland on Sunday.

After failing to strike in a 45-minute second-half outing in the 4-2 win over Stoke City on Saturday, the teenager, who has been subject to fervent transfer speculation, could not find the net when handed 62 minutes from the start against the Eredivisie team.

Mbappe, a reported target of Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal, had a low shot saved by Jeroen Zoet early on, but that was the only chance of note for either side until the latter stages of the first half.

PSV threatened when Danijel Subasic had to make a crucial save from Bart Ramselaar towards the end of the first half, while Zoet did well to hold a header from Radamel Falcao, another big-name Monaco starter, as the match reached the break without a goal.

Zoet kept out a left-footed strike from Jordi Mboula after the break, but PSV missed a golden chance at the other end when Steven Bergwijn could only fire wide from close range after Jurgen Locadia’s cross from the left.

PSV threatened again when Luuk de Jong had an effort saved by substitute keeper Diego Benaglio, while Monaco hit the crossbar late on when Guido Carrillo, another sub, stretched to reach Allan Saint-Maximin’s cross.

Let’