SHARE
COPY LINK

FOOTBALL

Monaco top Ligue 1 as ‘Le Classique’ looms

Monaco went three points clear at the top of Ligue 1 on Saturday after a late Lucas Ocampos winner gave them a priceless 2-1 victory over Saint-Etienne at the Louis II stadium.

Monaco top Ligue 1 as 'Le Classique' looms
Photo: Velery Hache/AFP

Substitute Ocampos was the star for Claudio Ranieri's Cote d'Azur outfit, when he latched onto a low cross from the right and pounced inside a crowded penalty box to shoot past Stephane Rufier with just three minutes remaining.

The win keeps Monaco unbeaten with six victories from nine matches and lifts them three points clear of Paris Saint-Germain who travel to arch-rivals Marseille on Sunday.

"We're very happy, we played well, created chances against a very strong Saint-Etienne team," said Monaco captain Eric Abidal.

"We had to find a way to open up the match which we did by changing the system and it came down to mental strength at the end. Everyone's happy."

Monaco's Italian coach Ranieri however said he had other plans for Sunday rather than watch the French 'classico' between Marseille and PSG.

"Sunday? I'll be in London where I have a house. The Marseille v PSG classico, well I'll be at a restaurant as it's my wife's birthday."

Belgian international Yannick Ferreira Carrasco gave Monaco the lead after 15 minutes with a cool finish following a 30-metre pass from James Rodriguez which put him behind the back four before the visitors equalised just inside the second half.

Saint-Etienne coach Christophe Galtier could be heard blasting his players at half-time and his motivational talk initially did the trick.

A good move down the left wing allowed Renaud Cohade to feed fellow Frenchman Romain Hamouma with a long pass which the 26-year-old midfielder controlled perfectly, before sliding the ball past Croatian goalkeeper Danijel Subasic.

Saint-Etienne had a golden chance to take the lead in the dying moments when Ivory Coast and former Leeds winger Max Gradel was alone through on goal but Subasic came to their rescue with a fine stop from close range.

The match appeared heading for a draw before the Ocampos winner kept the pressure on Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille.

Lille are fourth, just behind Marseille, after brushing aside Ajaccio 3-0, Nantes continued their fine form and edged Nice, who lost 1-0 at Toulouse, out of fifth with a 3-0 drubbing of Evian.

Rennes lost their second Brittany derby in as many weeks by losing 2-0 at Guingamp and Reims were pegged back by a late equaliser at Valenciennes in a match that finished 1-1.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

FOOTBALL

French prosecutors demand jail term for Russian accused of leaving England football fan with brain damage

French prosecutors on Friday called for a 15-year prison sentence for one of two Russians accused of beating a British supporter during Euro 2016, an attack that left him with brain injuries.

French prosecutors demand jail term for Russian accused of leaving England football fan with brain damage
Russian fans light flares at the match against England in 2016.. Photo: AFP

One prosecutor, Christophe Raffin, asked for the “legal maximum… between 14 and 15 years” for Pavel Kossov, who is accused of throwing the first punch at 55-year-old Andrew Bache.

Bache was injured in the violence that broke out before England played Russia in the southern French port city of Marseille on June 11th, 2016.

The second Russian on trial in Aix-en-Provence, Mikhail Ivkine, stands accused of throwing a chair at the victim, with prosecutors asking for a potential suspended sentence of up to five years.

He has claimed he was defending himself.

“No, it wasn't legitimate self-defence, it was illegitimate use of force against Andrew Bache,” Raffin said of the violence.

 

Police give emergency aid to Andrew Bache following clashes in the city of Marseille. Photo: AFP

The prosecutors said the Russians were part of a group of about 150 men, many with martial arts training, who wrought havoc in Marseille.

Bache, from Portsmouth in southern England, has no memory of the events and is too frail to attend the trial.

His son Harry, who nurses his father, is representing him in court.

SHOW COMMENTS