Teenage striker Kylian Mbappe grabbed his fourth goal in three games and Portugal midfielder Joao Moutinho scored with a brilliant curling shot as Monaco beat Bordeaux 2-1 Saturday to move five points clear at the top of the French league.
Monaco striker Radamel Falcao went off late on clutching his hip after a heavy challenge from Bordeaux defender Nicolas Pallois. It was unclear if the injury could rule him out of Wednesday’s Champions League Round-of-16 return leg against Manchester City.
Monaco struggled to break down a well-organised Bordeaux side that is fighting for a place in next season’s Europa League.
But after good work from Falcao, who came on with 25 minutes to go, the 18-year-old Mbappe showed great composure to finish with a crisp low shot from just inside the penalty area in the 68th minute. It was his 16th goal of the season, and 10th in the league.
Six minutes later, Moutinho collected a pass from countryman Bernardo Silva some 25 metres out to the right of the penalty area and curled a superb first-time shot into the top left without breaking stride.
‘I saw it coming, but it was magnificent. The ball dipped at the last moment,’ Bordeaux goalkeeper Cedric Carrasso said. ‘Sometimes you just have to appreciate a great goal and say “Well done” to that player.’
Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim revealed Falcao suffered a hip injury in the final moments of the match which could rule him out against Pep Guardiola’s men.
Jardim said: ‘He took a major blow on his right side and we will have to see how it evolves. I hope it doesn’t matter and that it is only a small hit, but will wait to see the exams (test results).’
Jardim said the striker had missed his side’s previous two games against Marseille and Nantes as a precautionary measure.
He added: ‘Falcao is an important player. He was hampered for 11 or 12 days by a small muscle problem, so we did not take the risk of starting him against Bordeaux.
‘He is feeling good and I just hope this injury to his hip is not serious. Because if it is okay, he will start the match against City.’
Moutinho’s goals for Monaco are as rare as they are for Portugal, and this was only his eighth in 117 league games since joining four years ago.
Monaco’s fans, however, would be forgiven for losing count how many goals their team has scored this season.
The tally is now up to 123 heading into the showdown with City, where a quarter-final place is up for grabs. Monaco has to overturn a 5-3 deficit from the first leg to advance, and will hope Falcao is back to full fitness for the tie.
He let in a sloppy goal against City three weeks ago and an even worse one on Saturday – gifting Bordeaux a lifeline with six minutes left.
After a Monaco attack broke down, Bordeaux hopefully lofted the ball forward. There was no immediate danger as Brazilian defender Jemerson collected the ball near the halfway line. But his hurried back pass was under-hit and forced Subasic to come out of the area to clear it.
But the Croatia goalkeeper waited too long. When he did clear it, the ball struck Bordeaux striker Diego Rolan and then bounced back off Subasic’s face into the path of Rolan, who ran through and tapped into an empty net.
Monaco held on and is now six points clear of third-placed Paris Saint-Germain. The defending champion travels to last-placed Lorient on Sunday.
‘We didn’t score three or four goals today but Bordeaux played well,’ Monaco midfielder Fabinho said. ‘Now we’re thinking about that game coming up against City.’
Originally published at Daily Mail