Keita opens account as host gets back on track

Monaco won for the first time in five attempts against Caen to give its hopes of defending Ligue 1 a much-needed boost.

Keita Balde scored his first Monaco goal as the Ligue 1 champion got back on track with an easy 2-0 home win over Caen.   -  AFP

Keita Balde scored his first Monaco goal as the Ligue 1 champion got back on track with an easy 2-0 home win over Caen.

Monaco had failed to win in four matches coming into the game, jeopardising its hopes in both Ligue 1 and the Champions League, but returned to form with a comfortable triumph on Saturday.

The win, which was sealed by in-form Radamel Falcao's penalty, puts the host back to within three points of league leader Paris Saint-Germain, which faces an away clash against rival Marseille on Sunday in its game in hand.

Monaco moved in front after 21 minutes, when an impressive throughball from Thomas Lemar released Keita and he raced into the area to send a calm right-footed finish into the bottom corner from 15 yards, his first strike since signing from Lazio in July.

Lemar and Rony Lopes failed to covert further good opportunities, while Jemerson headed against the bar as Monaco was forced to settled for a one-goal lead at the break after dominating the opening period.

But Leonardo Jardim's men did double their advantage just before the hour mark, with a penalty awarded when Baissama Sankoh fouled Lopes right on the edge of the area, an infringement referee Thomas Leonard adjudged had taken place inside the box. 

Falcao then stepped up to send Caen goalkeeper Remy Vercoutre the wrong way, already the Colombia international's 13th league goal of the season.

Caen finally threatened when Monaco shot stopper Danijel Subasic pushed Christian Kouakou's effort onto the bar, but the boom-or-bust visitor – which has now won five and lost five from 10 top-flight games this season – never looked likely to launch a comeback and stay ninth in the table.

Support Sportstar

Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.

  Dugout videos