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Monaco win to keep pressure on PSG

19 Jan 2014 19:32:01

Monaco win to keep pressure on PSG

Monaco completed a routine 2-0 win at mid-table Toulouse on Sunday to keep pace with Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain.

Goals from Layvin Kurzawa and Lucas Ocampos brought the Principality team to within two points of PSG ahead of the champions' clash with sixth-placed Nantes at the Parc des Princes later on Sunday.

The win also gave Monaco an eight-point advantage over fourth-placed Saint-Etienne, further cementing Claudio Ranieri's team's quest to earn a Champions League berth for next season.

"It's mission accomplished, even though we struggled a lot during the opening 30 minutes," said the Italian coach, formerly of Chelsea, Juventus and Inter Milan.

"It's an important win but we need to back it up. We hadn't played well in our last two matches and it's good for the group's confidence to rediscover winning ways.

"Now we can say that we're back on track but I repeat, we need to back it up."

Ranieri made a change to his starting line-up, bringing in French under-20 world champion Geoffroy Kondogbia to replace struggling Portugal international Moutinho, although the youngster did little to further his long-term prospects of holding down a regular starting position.

Monaco were far from convincing, particularly in the first half, but still turned around at the break a goal to the good through Kurzawa on 36 minutes.

And it was Kondogbia, in a rare moment of quality, who provided the low cross from the left for Kurzawa to score.

Until that point, Toulouse had been by far the better team, although they proved impotent in front of goal.

There was a disappointing performance from Colombian record-signing Radamel Falcao, who missed two glorious chances and has not scored in the league since November 8.

He was replaced by Ocampos with 21 minutes left and it was the Argentine who sealed the win with a goal two minutes from the end.

And it was a strike of rare beauty that looked out of place in an otherwise drag affair as Ocampos scored with an acrobatic bicycle kick that flummoxed goalkeeper Ali Ahamada.


AFP

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