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’

Monaco 4 Stoke City 2: Falcao scores as Mbappe returns in thriller

Kylian Mbappe returned to action for Monaco but it was fellow forward Radamel Falcao who struck in a friendly victory over Stoke City.

Substitute Radamel Falcao scored a decisive goal and Kylian Mbappe returned to action as Monaco beat Stoke City 4-2 in a thrilling friendly clash.

Goals from Falcao and Kevin N’Doram settled an entertaining six-goal encounter in Martigny, while Mbappe, who has been subject to fervent transfer speculation, played the whole second half in his first pre-season appearance.

Monaco threatened early when Allan Saint-Maximin’s cutback led to Thomas Lemar hitting the crossbar with a left-footed effort. But it was Stoke who took a surprise 10th-minute lead, Xherdan Shaqiri squaring following good play down the left, with Saido Berahino tapping in a rebound after Giannelli Imbula’s initial effort had struck the post.

Rony Lopes forced an excellent low save from Jack Butland, but Monaco were level after 34 minutes when an angry Glen Johnson was adjudged to have fouled Lemar in the box. Fabinho took the resulting spot-kick, sending the England keeper the wrong way.

Monaco moved in front five minutes later when Saint-Maximin weaved his way past a flat-footed Ryan Shawcross, who left the field with an injury soon after, before striking from 12 yards.

Stoke levelled within two minutes of the second half, Mame Biram Diouf impressively chipping in after Diego Benaglio had rashly rushed off his line moments after coming off the substitutes’ bench.

Mbappe failed to beat Lee Grant with a great opportunity, while Diouf had a goal ruled out for offside at the other end but, with the match hanging in the balance, two Monaco goals in four minutes midway through the half proved decisive, as Falcao stretched to tap in Djibril Sidibe’s right-wing cross before N’Doram’s tap-in from Gil Dias’ assist wrapped up the scoring.

Let’

Man Utd target James told to do what makes him happy by Falcao

The Real Madrid playmaker has been told by his fellow Colombian that he should focus on his happiness when he makes a decision on his future

Colombia forward Radamel Falcao just wants James Rodriguez to be happy amid persistent speculation linking the Real Madrid midfielder with a move.
James, 25, is expected to make a Madrid exit in the off-season, with Manchester United, Chelsea and AC Milan linked with a move for the playmaker.
‘James one of the best in the world’
Ahead of a crucial season and the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Falcao urged his Colombia team-mates, including James, to focus on their happiness when deciding their futures.
“For the sake of them and the team, I hope that all who have to make a decision do it in the best way possible and above all that makes them happy,” he said, via Sport.
Colombia still have work to do if they are to make the showpiece event in Russia.
While Jose Pekerman’s men sit second in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying, they are just four points clear of sixth-placed Ecuador.
Bacca hints at James’ Madrid exit
“I have dreamed a lot about the World Cup, which is one of my main motivations to move forward,” Falcao said.

“But I do not want to overtake the facts, so if God gives me the opportunity to be there, that day will come.”

Falcao becomes Colombia’s all-time top goalscorer

The Monaco striker found the back of the net against Spain, allowing him to move into sole position atop his country’s goalscoring charts

Radamel Falcao is now the most prolific goalscorer in the history of the Colombia national team.
The 31-year-old striker scored in the 55th minute in an international friendly against Spain to give his side a 2-1 advantage. It was Falcao’s 26th goal for his country in 65 games and moved him into the sole spot at the top of Colombia’s goalscoring charts.
Donnarumma shortlisted by Real Madrid
He passed Arnoldo Iguaran, who scored 25 goals playing in 68 matches for Colombia from 1973-1993.

#FCFDatoEl ‘Tigre’ @FALCAO marca el tempo en Murcia y llega a 26 goles con #FCFMayores , máximo goleador de la historia. pic.twitter.com/KDVJXKKwbv
— Selección Colombia (@FCFSeleccionCol) June 7, 2017

It had been a long time coming for Falcao. His last goal for his country came on 6 June 2015, meaning he broke his international drought almost exactly two years to the day.
The striker may want to continue finding the goals for Colombia, however, if he wants to maintain the record for as long as Iguaran held it. Real Madrid attacker James Rodriguez has 19 goals in his Colombia career and is just 25-years-old, leaving him lots of time to catch up to Falcao if the latter experiences another goalscoring drought.
And while Falcao made history on one side for Colombia, Spain had an impressive decade-long streak of their own finally snapped
Though scoring two goals may not seem like the greatest achievement, it is when visiting Spain. When at home, they had not conceded more than a single goal since a match against Ivory Coast in 2006.

2 – Spain have conceded two goals in a game at home for the first time since March 2006 (3-2 against Ivory Coast). Surprise. pic.twitter.com/c9CRcL5e2m

— OptaJose (@OptaJose) June 7, 2017

Spain did rally for a late equalizer, courtesy of Alvaro Morata, as the countries played out a 2-2 draw. 

Spain 2 Colombia 2: Morata rescues draw after Falcao’s record-breaking goal

Radamel Falcao became Colombia’s record goalscorer but it was not enough to give them a win over Spain, who had Alvaro Morata to thank.

Alvaro Morata scored a late equaliser as Spain drew 2-2 with Colombia in an engrossing friendly match in Murcia on Wednesday.
The visitors had looked set to claim the win after Edwin Cardona and Radamel Falcao put them ahead following David Silva’s opener, only for Morata’s brilliant header to rescue a draw for the home side.
The goal spared head coach Julen Lopetegui from his first defeat since succeeding Vicente del Bosque last year, although it marked the first time that Spain have conceded two goals in a home match since a 3-2 win over Ivory Coast in 2006.
A minute’s reflection was held prior to kick-off to mark the deaths of former Colombia international Marcos Coll, the ex-president of the coaching committee in Murcia, Manuel Redon, and Ignacio Echeverria, a Spanish citizen killed in the terror attack in London last Saturday.
Lopetegui named a strong starting line-up that included veterans Gerard Pique, Andres Iniesta and Silva alongside debutant Asier Illarramendi, and Spain deserved the lead they took when the Manchester City star netted after 22 minutes.
A dreadful defensive mix-up allowed Cardona to score a well-taken equaliser, however, before Falcao’s bullet header shortly after half-time – his 26th international goal, two years on from his 25th – left Estadio Nueva Condomina stunned.
Spain enjoyed 71 per cent of the ball but looked unlikely to stop a resurgent Colombia from claiming a third win in a row, until they were saved by an expert finish from Real Madrid man Morata, who continues to be heavily linked with Manchester United.

2 – Spain have conceded two goals in a game at home for the first time since March 2006 (3-2 against Ivory Coast). Surprise. pic.twitter.com/c9CRcL5e2m
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) June 7, 2017

Silva had the first good opportunity after eight minutes, expertly controlling Iniesta’s throughball before seeing a shot saved by David Ospina, a rebound blocked by Carlos Sanchez and a third attempt held by the goalkeeper.
Juan Cuadrado tested Pepe Reina with a powerful strike from 25 yards but Spain continued to look the more threatening, with Pedro curling a fierce left-foot effort over the bar after a fine run.
With 21 minutes played, they made their dominance count. Koke fed Pedro down the right and the Chelsea man’s low cross was side-footed goalwards by Silva, with Ospina just unable to stop the ball bouncing into the net.
Iago Aspas and James Rodriguez each came close with clever efforts but it was Cardona who levelled the scores before the break after making the most of some desperate Spain defending.
Pique – who had been booed by some of the home support once again – and Cesar Azpilicueta both hesitated to deal with a high ball into the box from Cuadrado, allowing Cardona to steal in and loop a clever finish over the stranded Reina.
Silva and Iniesta picked up knocks in the first half and both were withdrawn at the break, with one of those replacements, Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio, almost setting up Aspas to regain Spain’s lead less than 10 minutes after the restart.
However, it was Colombia who struck next in the 55th minute, with Falcao leaping highest to power home James’ corner after Reina found himself stranded out of his goal.

#FCFDatoEl ‘Tigre’ @FALCAO marca el tempo en Murcia y llega a 26 goles con #FCFMayores , máximo goleador de la historia. pic.twitter.com/KDVJXKKwbv
— Selección Colombia (@FCFSeleccionCol) June 7, 2017

Koke’s free-kick required an athletic stop from Ospina as Spain went in search of an equaliser, but even with Morata on the pitch, they fashioned few other chances of note.

However, with three minutes of normal time remaining, Morata met Saul Niguez’s cross from the left with a superb glancing header that flew into the corner beyond Ospina and gave Spain something of a lift ahead of next week’s World Cup qualifier against Macedonia.

Who has scored the most goals in all competitions in 2016-17? Messi, Ronaldo and Europe’s top marksmen

Superstar frontmen from the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Ligue 1 and Serie A posted some remarkable scoring numbers in the season just gone

The cream continues to rise to the top in Europe’s leading divisions, with the usual suspects once again filling their boots in front of goal to underline their value to their respective clubs and enhance their reputations as some of the finest players on the planet. Here, Goal takes a look at the leading frontmen from across the continent.

LIONEL MESSI

The mercurial Argentine enjoyed another prolific campaign at Barcelona, moving past the 500-goal goal mark for the club – with the target found 507 times in 583 appearances.
Has now delivered eight successive seasons of 40+ goals, with his efforts in 2016-17 earning him the fourth Golden Shoe of a quite remarkable career.

EDINSON CAVANI

Stepped out of the shadow of Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Paris Saint-Germain to prove his worth as a central striker, helping PSG to Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue glory to compensate for surrendering their Ligue 1 title.
Fell just one effort short of matching Ibrahimovic’s club-record haul of 50 in the French capital.

ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI

Missed out on the Bundesliga top scorer award by one goal, but remains the most prolific marksman in Germany across all competitions, with the Pole a threat on the floor and in the air.
His 43-goal haul in 2016-17 – which included four hat-tricks – represents a personal best, while he has now plundered 30 in each of his last two German top-flight campaigns.

CRISTIANO RONALDO

Is only the second man, after eternal rival Messi, to have scored 25+ goals in eight successive La Liga seasons, having hit that mark on the final day to help wrap up a title triumph.
The 2016-17 campaign also saw the prolific Portuguese forward become the first man to reach 100 goals in Champions League competition – with a brace in the final helping Madrid to make history with back-to-back triumphs.

PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG

To have beaten Lewandowski to the Bundesliga top scorer award goes to show how prolific the Gabon international was over the course of the 2016-17 campaign.
He has come to epitomise the ‘fox in the box’ moniker, with all 72 of his Bundesliga efforts over the course of the last three seasons having come from inside the penalty area.

EDIN DZEKO

Collected the Capocannoniere in Serie A, having enjoyed a memorable return to prolific form to set a new personal best both in league outings and across all competitions.
Completes the set across Europe’s top five leagues of the top goalscorer having missed out on title glory – alongside Messi, Aubameyang, Cavani and Kane.

ALEXANDRE LACAZETTE

Has scored 20+ league goals in three successive seasons at Lyon, while passing the 100-goal mark for the club while setting a new personal best in 2016-17.
Having been a talismanic presence for his Ligue 1 employers, the France international is now destined to take his predatory instincts elsewhere – with Manchester United and Liverpool among those reported to be keen.

LUIS SUAREZ

Only Messi and Ronaldo have managed more goals in La Liga since the Uruguayan moved to Camp Nou in 2014, with 85 managed in just 97 appearances.
Is one of only eight players in Europe to have registered double figures in terms of assists and goals in the 2016-17 campaign.

HARRY KANE

The Tottenham talisman is only the fifth player to score 25+ goals in two successive Premier League seasons, following in the footsteps of Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry, Robin van Persie and Robbie Fowler.
His 29-goal haul in 2016-17 saw him make it back-to-back Golden Boot successes in the English top-flight.

DRIES MERTENS

Recorded 30+ goals for the first time in his career, and 20+ in a league campaign for the first time since his spell at PSV in 2011-12.
Saw off competition from Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and Roma’s Radja Nainggolan to be named Belgian Footballer of the Year for 2016.

JUST OUTSIDE THE TOP 10

Sergio Aguero managed 33 in all competitions for Manchester City, despite seeing his future called into question at times – becoming only the fifth player to 20+ in three successive Premier League seasons after Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Harry Kane.
Gonzalo Higuain started to repay his €90 million transfer fee at Juventus with 32 goals, including five in a run to the Champions League final, while Alexis Sanchez hit 30 for the first time in his career to help Arsenal to FA Cup glory.
Radamel Falcao also hit that mark, with the Colombian enjoying a welcome return to form to spark a Ligue 1 title win at Monaco after two forgettable seasons on loan in England with Manchester United and Chelsea.

BEST OF THE REST

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (28) saw his season cut short by injury, but not before becoming the first man to score 20+ goals for Manchester United since Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure, while Andre Belotti (28) came of age at Torino, netting a European-high 10 efforts in the league with his head.
Blackburn Rovers fans are unlikely to have fond memories of Anthony Modeste, but he has been prolific for Koln and plundered 27 efforts across all competitions in 2016-17 – including 25 of his side’s 51 in the Bundesliga.
Six men ended the campaign with 26 goals to their name, including Celta Vigo’s former Liverpool forward Iago Aspas and Lazio frontman Ciro Immobile.
Mauro Icardi also achieved the feat in another frustrating season for Inter, while Everton’s Romelu Lukaku joined Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney and Robbie Fowler in an elite group of players to have netted 80+ times in the Premier League before the age of 24.

Elsewhere, Antoine Griezmann caught the eye of the likes of Manchester United with another impressive haul at Atletico Madrid and Kylian Mbappe became the teenage sensation of the season at Monaco, becoming only the sixth player to score in his first four Champions League starts and drawing comparisons with Thierry Henry as he helped Monaco to the Ligue 1 title.