Monaco back in the big time

Domino's Ligue 2

Ibrahima Touré's first goal of 2013, a 94th-minute winner at ten-man Nîmes, sealed Monaco's return to Ligue 1 after two seasons away.

 Nîmes Olympique 0-1 AS Monaco FC

The 2004 Champions League finalists made it third time lucky in terms of securing their Ligue 1 status, having fluffed their lines in drawing 1-1 against Sedan and then losing 1-0 to Caen.

Claudio Ranieri's men made life hard for themselves, however, after Benoit Poulain was sent off for Nîmes in the 22nd minute for a foul on Andrea Raggi. Yannick Ferreira Carrasco took the resulting penalty and Cyrille Merville saved well.

The minutes ticked by with Monaco unable to press home their domination until Touré, a 67th-minute replacement for captain Valère Germain, popped up with his 17th Ligue 2 goal of the season on the final whistle, latching on to Gary Kagelmacher's flick-on and dispatching the ball beyond Merville.

Monaco's transfer market activity will keep the press busy over the summer with the principality club linked to Falcao in the morning papers. The club is owned by Dimitri Rybolovlev.

LFP president Frédéric Thiriez said: "Bravo to AS Monaco for their promotion after an error-free season. The return of Monaco to the top division, with a powerful owner, is good news for Ligue 1 as a whole. Monaco has its place in French football and naturally at the top level. That makes it all the more necessary for AS Monaco to conform to French rules, notably concerning tax, to preserve the equity of the championship."


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