Monaco keep up pressure
Last Updated: 16/03/14 6:51pm
Milan Bisevac battles with James Rodriguez
Monaco made it five wins from their last six matches and maintained the pressure on Ligue 1 leaders Paris St Germain with an impressive 3-2 win in Lyon.
Claudio Ranieri's men raced into an early two-goal lead thanks to goals from Valerie Germain and James Rodriguez before Jimmy Briand offered the hosts hope with a strike before half-time.
However, Dimitar Berbatov was on hand shortly after the restart to reinstate Monaco's two-goal advantage with a second goal since his January arrival in the principality before Briand added what turned out be a consolation with 12 minutes left.
Victory for the visitors helped close the gap on the league-leaders to five points with PSG due to host St Etienne in the weekend's final game late on Sunday.
Monaco made the perfect start and found themselves a goal up with just four minutes played when Fabinho picked out Berbatov, and the Bulgarian was allowed far too much time to pick out Germain who stroked the ball home.
In what was a fast-paced opening, Lyon hit back straight away and Alexandre Lacazette was inches away from levelling but his lob fell the wrong side of the goal with Danijel Subasic beaten.
Germain forced a save from Anthony Lopes after he superbly plucked the ball out of the air as both sides looked to attack before Monaco's afternoon got even better.
The lively Germain found Berbatov inside the area who should have scored but, after his touch let him down, Rodriguez was on hand to punish the hosts with a powerful left-footed finish.
Undettered though, Lyon hit back when Miguel Lopes was allowed time on the right to pick out Briand who flicked the ball beyond Subasic to offer Remi Garde's men encouragement going into the break.
That hope was soon distuinguished though when, just seven minutes after the restart, Berbatov restored the visitors' two-goal advantage.
Not for the first time, Rodriguez was the creator and his neat through ball released the Bulagarian who cleverly lifted the ball over the onrushing Subasic amidst some strong offisde protests from and angry Garde.
Monaco could have had a fourth soon after when Fabinho's deflected cross almost caught out Lopes before the hosts hit back.
Firstly, Yoann Gourcuff was desperately unlucky to see a volley from Henri Bedimo's delivery fly just inches wide of the post before Briand struck again to offer hope.
Miguel Lopes was involved once again and his deflected cross found Kone who rose above Subasic to set up the France international for his second of the game.
Briand went close to sealing his hat-trick late on but his awkward header failed to find the target and Ranieri's men held on for a vital three points.
French Ligue 1
|3||Paris St Germain||22||44|
|16||Evian Thonon Gaillar||22||23|