Riviere confirms Monaco win
Last Updated: 01/09/13 10:43pm
Radamel Falcao in action for Monaco.
Emmanuel Riviere came off the bench to fire Monaco back to the top of Ligue 1 by settling a win over Marseille at the Stade Velodrome.
Despite trailing at the break to a Lucas Mendes header, the visitors hit back through Radamel Falcao straight after the interval before Riviere stole the headlines late on.
Defeat for Marseille sees them relinquish their lead at the top of the league to their Monegasque opponents and it was the first time Elie Baup's men have dropped points this season.
Both sides were forced into early changes inside the first 10 minutes when Souleymane Diawara pulled up for the hosts before Monaco's Jeremy Toulalan was taken off following a clash with Gianella Imbula.
Despite the early disruption, though, the visitors went close on two occasions in the first 15 minutes.
Firstly, Lucas Ocampos shot wide from a promising position after Fabinho picked him out, and another cross from the young Brazilian full-back found Falcao before Layvin Kurzawa shot wide.
With the action swinging from end-to-end Andre-Pierre Gignac shaved the right post at the other end with a well-timed volley before Andre Ayew skimmed the opposite upright of Danijel Subasic's goal with a similar left-footed effort.
The first goal finally game just before the break and it was Marseille who would head into the interval with the lead.
Mathieu Valbuena swung a corner into the area and Mendes beat Eric Abidal to head past Subasic as the Velodrome erupted.
However, Baup's team only held the lead for three minutes as Monaco levelled in the 47th minute.
Kurzawa crossed from the left and a Joao Moutinho touch caught out the hosts' defence to leave Falcao with a simple close-range finish.
The Colombian's leveller was almost cancelled out moments later though when Ayew got in but his effort cannoned back off the right post as both sides continued to carve out openings in a very entertaining encounter.
Not to be outdone by their hosts, Monaco also had the post to blame for keeping the scores level when Kurzawa saw his header from a Moutinho corner come back off the upright with Steve Mandanda apparently beaten.
The visitors did eventually find that all important goal though when substitute Riviere scored his fifth league goal of the season.
The Martinique striker picked up the ball from Moutinho before beating Nicolas N'Koulou and Mendes with some neat skill and firing beyond Mandanda to send Claudio Ranieri's men back to the top of Ligue 1.
French Ligue 1
|2||Paris St Germain||14||30|
|18||Evian Thonon Gaillar||13||13|