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Falcao hits treble as Monaco win without Mbappe

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Falcao hits treble as Monaco win without Mbappe

Kylian Mbappe watched on from the bench as Radamel Falcao struck a hat-trick in champions Monaco’s 4-1 victory away to Dijon in Ligue 1 on Sunday.

Jemerson also scored in a comprehensive victory for the principality side that made it two wins from two after they started the campaign by beating Toulouse 3-2 last weekend.

It was also their 14th consecutive league win, equalling the record set by Bordeaux in 2009.

They join Lyon, Marseille and Saint-Etienne on maximum points before Paris Saint-Germain — with Neymar poised to make his debut — visit Guingamp later (1900 GMT).

But it was the absence of Mbappe that will likely prove the biggest talking point of Monaco’s trip to Burgundy.

The 18-year-old France forward was one of the stars of Monaco’s title triumph and run to the Champions League semi-finals last season.

However, he is said to be determined to leave the principality before the transfer window shuts at the end of the month, with Real Madrid keen but PSG his preferred destination. His club want 180 million euros ($213 million, £164 million) if they are to sell.

Mbappe was in the Monaco squad at the Stade Gaston Gerard but did not make it off the bench as coach Leonardo Jardim gave a debut to 21-year-old winger Adama Diakhaby, a 10 million-euro signing from Rennes.

Without Mbappe, Monaco went ahead inside three minutes as Kamil Glik headed down a corner and Falcao helped the ball towards goal, with goalkeeper Baptiste Reynet getting a touch but unable to stop it from crossing the line.

Brazil centre-back Jemerson then produced a remarkable overhead-kick finish from another corner to double Monaco’s lead and Diakhaby fed Falcao for a shot that took a slight deflection on its way in to make it 3-0 in the 37th minute.

Wesley Said pulled one back for Dijon before the break but Colombian star Falcao headed home another corner shortly after the restart to complete a fine victory for the away side.

“It is my second hat-trick with Monaco. It is magnificent to score with my head, my feet, my left foot,” said Falcao, who said of Mbappe simply that it had been “the club’s decision”.

“Monaco have lots of good players who are wanted by big European clubs. But the important thing is that each player’s maturity allows him to train well and stay fully focused to win matches.”

AFP

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