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French Ligue 1

La Beaujoire-Louis Fonteneau (ATT 27,042) 24th August 2014 - Kick off 20:00 Ref: Amaury Delerue

Nantes Nantes vs Monaco Monaco

Nantes 0


Monaco 1

Falcao (45)

Ligue 1: Monaco claim their first win of the season after a 1-0 victory at Nantes

Last Updated: 24/08/14 11:00pm

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Radamel Falcao (r) celebrates after scoring Monaco's winner at Nantes

Radamel Falcao (r) celebrates after scoring Monaco's winner at Nantes

Radamel Falcao headed home his first competitive goal from open play since the start of the year to hand Monaco a much-needed 1-0 victory at Nantes.

The Colombian, who has missed most of the year since suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury on January 22, showed he was back to his predatory best to give Les Rouges their first win of the season at the third time of asking.

Falcao's side were lucky to hold out for the victory, with Serge Gakpe missing a first-half penalty and Kian Hansen hitting the bar late on for the hosts, but Monaco held firm to take a vital three points at the Stade de la Beaujoire.

Before the season started Monaco had been tipped by many to push Paris St Germain close for the Ligue 1 title, but things did not start well for new boss Leonardo Jardim.

A 2-1 opening-day defeat to Lorient, which saw Falcao score from the spot, was followed by a 4-1 hammering at the hands of Bordeaux last week to leave people already starting to ask questions of Jardim, who took over from Claudio Ranieri this summer.

It looked like it would be another long day for the former Sporting Lisbon boss when Yacine Bammou was awarded a penalty after a foul by Monaco goalkeeper Danijel Subasic after 24 minutes.

Subasic was also booked, but he managed to turn from villain to hero by guessing right and saving Gakpe's spot-kick.

Former Monaco striker Gakpe was again thwarted by Subasic just after the half-hour mark, with the 29-year-old keeper making an excellent save to deny his curled free-kick from 25 yards.

On the stroke of half-time, though, there was finally some relief for Jardim as Falcao ghosted in at the far post to cushion a close-range header past Nantes keeper Maxime Dupe without even breaking stride.

Les Rouges almost made it two shortly after the interval, with Lucas Ocampos forcing Dupe into an awkward stop with a powerful right-footed drive, but after that it was all Nantes again.

Alejandro Bedoya went close twice, only to be denied by Subasic on both occasions, while Bammou shot agonisingly wide after being put through by Jordan Veretout with 10 minutes remaining.

Hansen had the best chance to equalise in the 85th minute, connecting with Vincent Bessat's corner at the far post but he could only hit the bar as Nantes lost for the first time this season.

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French Ligue 1

French Ligue 1
Pos Team P Pts
1 Lyon 27 54
2 Paris St Germain 27 53
3 Marseille 27 50
4 Monaco 26 44
5 St Etienne 27 43
6 Montpellier 26 42
7 Bordeaux 27 42
8 Nantes 27 36
9 Lille 27 35
10 Rennes 27 35
11 Guingamp 27 35
12 Caen 27 34
13 Nice 27 34
14 Bastia 27 33
15 Reims 27 32
16 Lorient 26 31
17 Evian Thonon Gaillar 26 29
18 Toulouse 27 29
19 RC Lens 27 22
20 Metz 27 22