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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”