Wonderkid Mbappé nets hat-trick as Monaco march on
By D. Crossan
18-year-old Kylian Mbappé scored a maiden Ligue 1 hat-trick and Radamel Falcao scored the other two as Monaco crushed Metz 5-0 to restore their three-point advantage at the top.
AS Monaco 5-0 FC Metz
The Thierry Henry comparisons will reach a crescendo after Mbappé's triple salvo, following on from his goal against Montpellier in midweek. Henry told French radio this week that there is "something special" about Mbappé and the attacker provided further evidence of that in another Monaco rout of Metz. Leonardo Jardim's side provided the perfect response to PSG's Friday night success at Bordeaux and even managed to extend their goal difference advantage over the champions.
Having struck seven past the Lorraine club at the start of October, Monaco needed only eight minutes to get off the mark at the Stade Louis II as Falcao nodded Joao Moutinho's pass Mbappé's way and his strike partner finished first-time left-footed.
Metz came to the Principality off the back of a good run that had seen them manage 10 points from five Ligue 1 games in 2017 but they were heading for their sixth straight Ligue 1 loss to Monaco once Falcao doubled the lead two minutes after the opener, meeting Almamy Touré's cross from the right at the front post.
Mbappé beat the offside trap to score the third on 20 minutes, cutting in from the left - the Henry position if you like - and scoring across the face of luckless goalkeeper Thomas Didillon.
The hat-trick goal came five minutes into the second half, a neat finish with the outside of the boot ensuring Mbappé would leave with the match ball as he had done in the 7-0 thrashing of Rennes in the Coupe de la Ligue in December.
Falcao offered himself another belated present, a day after turning 31, as he provided another fine near-post finish, this time from a cross from the other full-back, Benjamin Mendy.
Gabriel Boschilia going off injured after a Jonathan Rivierez challenge was the only sour note for a Monaco side that hit the post through Bernardo Silva in stoppage time.
THE PLAYER: Kylian Mbappé
At 18 years and two months Mbappé became the youngest Ligue 1 hat-trick scorer since 17-year-old Jérémy Ménez for Sochaux back in 2005.
THE STAT: 12
Monaco have scored 12 unanswered goals in two Ligue 1 games against Metz this season.