Monaco routs Lille 4-0 to effectively seal French title
ABS-CBN Sports on May 15, 2017 10:49 AM
Monaco's players celebrate after defeating Lille during a League One soccer match between Monaco and Lille, at the Louis II stadium, in Monaco, Sunday, May, 14 2017. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
JEROME PUGMIRE, AP Sports Writer
PARIS (AP) — Monaco celebrated a century of league goals with the win that all but sealed the French title, beating Lille 4-0 on Sunday to leave Paris Saint-Germain needing a spectacular Monaco collapse in order to defend its title.
Monaco leads by three points with a goal difference that is +17 better than that of PSG, and also has a game in hand. PSG needs to win its last match and hope Monaco loses its remaining two games by huge margins.
Top scorer Radamel Falcao scored twice and attacking midfielder Bernardo Silva added one to make it 101 league goals and 153 in all competitions for Monaco.
Monaco can officially raise the trophy with a draw at home to Saint-Etienne on Wednesday — hardly a fearsome prospect.
PSG won 5-0 at Saint-Etienne on Sunday, with striker Edinson Cavani scoring twice to reach 35 league goals. Brazilian winger Lucas also got two and Germany winger Julian Draxler completed the scoring late on.
It was a sad farewell to fans for Saint-Etienne coach Christophe Galtier, taking charge of his 359th game and his last one at home before leaving at the end of the season.
The popular Galtier even got a sympathetic hug from PSG left back Maxwell, who set up Cavani's first goal after just two minutes with a pinpoint cross.
Over at Stade Louis II, Falcao headed in Thomas Lemar's cross from the left in the sixth minute to reach 20 league goals for the fourth time in his career. Last season, he got just one during a miserable loan spell at Premier League Chelsea.
The second goal came on the stroke of halftime.
Bernardo Silva fed forward Kylian Mbappe down the right, and the 18-year-old showed tremendous pace to surge past defender Franck Beria and then return the pass for Silva to thump home. After it went in, Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim — normally a reserved character — jumped off the bench and pumped his fist vigorously as he shuffled along the touchline.
Job done — pretty much.
Mbappe turned provider again midway through the second half with a wonderful cushioned pass that Falcao volleyed home for his 30th goal in all competitions, and a late own-goal from defender Junior Alonso completed the rout.
"We don't have the trophy in our hands yet ... We'll celebrate the title with a great win on Wednesday," Monaco left back Benjamin Mendy said. "We have a great collective strength, and you can only enjoy yourself when you're in this team."