PARIS: Gabriel Boschilia and Valere Germain both struck twice as a rampant Monaco routed bottom side Lorient 4-0 on Monday to climb two points clear of Nice at the top of Ligue 1.
Brazilian striker Boschilia netted a brace inside the opening half hour as Monaco punished slack Lorient defending in driving rain at the Stade Louis 2nd before Germain curled in a third on 37 minutes.
The Frenchman then grabbed his second on the hour as Leonardo Jardim’s free-scoring side collected a fifth win in six games to claim the outright lead, following Nice’s 1-1 draw at Bastia on Friday.
Third are Paris Saint-Germain, three points behind Monaco, and the two go head to head in the French capital next weekend.
“We had a very good first half and we managed the game well today,” said Jardim, who singled out Boschilia for praise.
“I played him today because he is a quality player who works hard,” added Jardim, before hitting out a fixture schedule which sees Monaco in action again on Wednesday in a League Cup semi-final at home to Nancy.
Monaco face a busy run of games over the next month as they compete on four fronts at home and in Europe.
Boschilia made the most of a rare start by hooking home in the 24th minute after Lorient goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte failed to adequately deal with Radamel Falcao’s looping header in the box.
Lecomte was again culpable four minutes later when Boschilia found the net from the edge of the area as the ball rolled through the legs of the visiting goalkeeper.
Lorient paid the price for more sloppy play as Falcao won the ball back deep in the visitors’ half before firing against the base of the post. The ball rebounded back to Germain, who steered neatly into the far corner.
Germain rounded out a thumping win 14 minutes into the second half after Lorient skipper Michael Ciani was dispossessed by Djibril Sidibe. The France full-back slipped the striker in behind the defense with Lecomte again beaten between his legs.
Lorient remain two points adrift at the foot of the table.
Alexandre Lacazette netted a second-half brace to get Lyon back to winning ways in a 3-1 success at home against Marseille.
Mathieu Valbuena opened the hosts’ account two minutes before the break with Lacazette’s double on 61 and 75 minutes moving him second in the Ligue 1 top scorers list with 17 goals.
Lyon stay fourth 11 points behind Monaco.
Marseille’s Brazilian defender Doria got a goal back for the visitors who drop one spot to seventh.
Earlier Saint-Etienne beat struggling Angers 2-1, to move ahead of Marseille into sixth position.
On Saturday, Edinson Cavani scored both goals, taking his tally this season to 20, as PSG snapped Nantes’ four-game winning run with a 2-0 victory at the Stade de la Beaujoire.
Arnaud Souquet earned Nice a point against Bastia in Corsica on Friday, equalizing with a header after Prince Oniangue had given the hosts an early lead in a game marred by what Italy striker Mario Balotelli said was persistent racial abuse directed at him from the home fans.
The Nice bus was also pelted with stones and the French league’s disciplinary committee said it will look into the incidents.