Riviere hat-trick fires Monaco to victory
Last Updated: 18/08/13 9:38pm
Riviere celebrates one of his three goals against Montpellier
Emmanuel Riviere scored a hat-trick as Monaco's successful start to life back in Ligue 1 continued with a 4-1 win over 10-man Montpellier.
Radamel Falcao opened the scoring from the penalty spot early in the first half before Claudio Ranieri's men were pegged back thanks to a Victor Hugo Montano effort.
Riviere put Monaco back in front just before the break, though, and the former Toulouse striker scored twice more in the second half - either side of a red card for Montpellier defender Daniel Congre for a foul on Yannick Ferreira Carrasco - to wrap up the points.
The promoted hosts, who beat Bordeaux in their opening fixture, forced Montpellier back from the start and the pressure paid off shortly before the 20-minute mark when Siaka Tiene hauled down Lucas Ocampos in the area and Falcao made no mistake from 12 yards for his second goal of the season.
Their lead lasted little over five minutes though when Benjamin Stambouli picked out Montano in the area and he headed home to level the score.
With the half-time whistle looming Monaco reclaimed the lead when Riviere appeared to foul Congre but, with nothing given, the Monegasque striker went on to lob Laurent Pionnier and restore his side's lead.
Pionnier was more effective in the second half when he pulled off a magnificent save to keep out Ocampos' glancing header but moments later the visiting keeper was picking the ball out of the net again.
Carrasco swung a corner in towards the near post and Riviere was in the right place at the right time to knee the ball beyond Pionnier.
With 25 minutes left on the clock Montpellier were reduced to 10 men when Congre was sent off for a cynical foul on Carrasco before Riviere helped himself to his third.
The impressive Carrasco saw his powerful effort pushed away by Pionnier but the hat-trick hero was on hand to nod home and rubber-stamp the three points for Monaco.
Meanwhile, Ranieri has moved swiftly to quash media speculation that Falcao is about to be transferred from the club.
"They are just rumours, always rumours and just to make up stories. Falcao is staying here, he's happy and his daughter was born here."
French Ligue 1
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|17||Evian Thonon Gaillar||28||30|