Monaco pick off Caen to get back on track
Monaco scored their first win in four competitive outings with a 2-0 win over SM Caen on Saturday to close to within three points of leaders Paris Saint-Germain.
AS Monaco 2-0 SM Caen
The midweek UEFA Champions League loss to Besiktas was the latest in a run of poor results that had seen the champions slip six points behind PSG.
They needed an early goal to boost their self-belief and they got one - Youri Tielemans and Thomas Lemar combined to send Keita Baldé racing in behind Romain Genevois, and his low shot was too good for Rémy Vercoutre (21').
Against his former club, Lemar made a welcome return to form and grazed the crossbar with a drive shortly afterwards (34') before delivering a corner from which Jemerson headed solidly against the woodwork with Vercoutre beaten (36').
The former Olympique Lyonnais goalkeeper beat out a Rony Lopes effort (37') as Monaco sought a second before the break.
Instead, they had to wait until just before the hour mark - Lopes was brought down by Jan Repas and Radamel Falcao - who else? - sent Vercoutre the wrong way from the spot for his 13th goal of the campaign (60').
Caen, who started the game just four points behind their illustrious opponents, would have pulled one back 12 minutes from time, but after Christian Kouakou had gone past Kamil Glik, his shot was pushed onto the bar by an alert Danijel Subasic (78').
THE PLAYER: Keita Baldé
The summer signing from Lazio arrived with much fanfare, and after an understandably tentative start, he looks like he is starting to warm to the task. After his first assist in the Week 9 loss to OL, he now has his first Ligue 1 Conforama goal - there will surely be more to come.
THE STAT: 9
Baldé has now scored nine goals in his last seven league starts in Italy and France.