Mbappé doubles up to keep Monaco flying
Kylian Mbappé celebrated his maiden call-up for France with a brace as AS Monaco won 0-3 at SM Caen on Sunday to maintain their hold on top spot in the Ligue 1 table.
SM Caen 0-3 AS Monaco
Buoyant following their UEFA Champions League win over Manchester City and progress to the quarter-finals, Monaco were unlikey to be daunted by the long trip to Normandy where they had not lost since March 2008.
It did not take them long for their clinical front line to click into gear. With Radamel Falcao still sidelined by a hip injury, Mbappé was given another chance to shine in the starting line-up, and the 18-year-old, who could feature in Les Bleus' 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier with Luxembourg and the friendly with Spain later this month, did not disappoint.
Jemerson's long ball forward gave Mbappé and strike partner Valère Germain the chance to combine — the former then stepped around challenges from Alaeddine Yahia and Syam ben Youssef before firing an 11th goal of the league season past Rémy Vercoutre (13').
A timely block prevented Germain firing goalwards (17') before Mbappé (37') and Thomas Lemar (41'), one of five Monaco players in the France squad following Tiémoué Bakayoko's call-up to replace Paul Pogba, had penalty appeals turned down by referee Antony Gautier.
Three minutes into the second half, Mr Gautier did point to the spot as Monaco doubled their lead. Mbappé's pace did the damage, Damien Da Silva's mistimed challenge provided Fabinho with the opportunity to score his seventh penalty of the season.
Vercoutre denied Lemar (54') before Mbappé wrapped up another stylish Monaco win nine minutes from time, finishing with aplomb from a Joao Moutinho cross to push his side six points clear at the top of the table ahead of Paris Saint-Germain's game at home to Olympique Lyonnais on Sunday evening.
THE PLAYER: Kylian Mbappé
The young striker has long been touted as one to have a great future — right now, his present isn't too bad.
THE STAT: 35
Monaco have scored a Ligue 1-high 35 goals away from home, that's more than Caen have scored in their 30 matches this season (31)