PARIS: A towering Radamel Falcao header helped send Monaco top in France on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) as a 3-0 home win over Rennes saw them leapfrog Paris Saint Germain.
The win means Leonardo Jardim’s Monaco have 13 points from five games ahead of PSG on ten, while Nice can join Monaco at the top with a win at Montpellier Sunday.
This was Monaco’s seventh consecutive win and follows a slick 2-1 triumph over Tottenham at Wembley in the Champions League in midweek.
“The favourite to win the title, which will be a long haul, is Paris,” warned Jardim.
“Nice, Lyon and Marseille have also invested in their teams, but we are a better side this season, more experienced and organised,” said the Portuguese coach whose side came third last year.
Falcao’s career has hit the buffers since quitting Atletico Madrid saw him endure unsuccessful injury-blighted loan stints at Manchester United and Chelsea.
But on Saturday, the 30-year-old Colombian leapt high at the back post and powered in a header in the 42nd minute to score his first goal for Monaco since August 2014 — 755 days ago.
Rennes, who had made the long journey from Brittany, rarely had the south coast side in trouble and lost concentration as the slightly built 20-year-old Thomas Lemar scored twice at the end of the game.
His first was a far post tap-in set up by Bernardo Silva and the second a lob which left Rennes keeper Benoit Costil watching the ball drop behind him into the net.
Rennes captain Pedro Mendes saluted the winners.
“That is one very good side and we won’t be the only ones to suffer here,” he said.