AS Monaco picked apart Mediterranean rivals Olympique de Marseille 6-1 on Sunday to maintain their 100% start to the Ligue 1 Conforama season and move joint-top of the table with Paris Saint-Germain.
AS Monaco 6-1 Olympique de Marseille
PSG had thrown down the gauntlet to the champions with Friday’s 3-0 defeat of AS Saint-Etienne. Monaco not so much picked it up as hurled it back defiantly at Neymar Jr, Edinson Cavani and Co. with a devastating display at the Stade Louis II.
A large section of the crowd had made the trip to the principality to support the ever-popular visitors, who were unbeaten in their last 14 Ligue 1 Conforama matches. The pre-match enthusiasm and optimism bred by that streak quickly and emphatically disappeared though.
Monaco, unbeaten in their last 23 league outings before kick-off and on a top-flight record 15-game winning streak, ripped the heart and hope out of Rudi Garcia’s men before half-time as they scored four times before the break for the first time since 2003.
Within two minutes, they were in front through Kamil Glik, who fired home his eighth goal in ASM colours from a Thomas Lemar free-kick, and Adama Diakhaby struck a post almost immediately afterwards (3′) before Radamel Falcao smashed in a penalty after Fabinho had been fouled by Jordan Amavi (20′).
The Colombia international added a seventh of a sensational start to the campaign in spectacular style, diving full length to head powerfully past Steve Mandanda when Diakhaby had unwittingly turned a Joao Moutinho free-kick his way (34′).
Wounded and stumbling towards the half-time interval, Marseille conceded another with Garcia’s five-man defence shredded. Diakhaby, a summer signing from Stade Rennais, squeezed in front of Grégory Sertic to stab Rony Lopes’ cross into the net and claim his first Ligue 1 Conforama goal in his new colours.
Florian Thauvin fired over (51′) and Morgan Sanson forced a first save from Danijel Subasic (58′) after a flustered OM had regrouped at the interval, but rather than heralding a renaissance, it merely reminded Monaco of the task in hand. They had started the match seven goals down on PSG, and so Djibril Sidibe’s diving header to add a fifth (68′) was more than welcome.
Rémy Cabella’s consolation strike for OM (74′) was less so, but Fabinho greedily gobbled up the chance for his first goal of the season from the penalty spot after Jorge had been fouled by Hiroki Sakai (79′). It marked the first time since an 8-0 thrashing by Olympique Lyonnais in 1997 that Marseille had conceded six times in a league match.
Lopes even came close to adding a seventh, but saw his shot flash wide. Had the youngster, who was on loan at LOSC Lille last season, picked out the unmarked Lemar instead, OM fans would have trudged back along the Mediterranean coast even glummer still.
THE PLAYER: Radamel Falcao
Monaco’s defenders may have scored more goals between them this season than nine top-flight teams, but the champions’ spearhead remains their main threat, and the 31-year-old again showed he remains a potent one. That is seven goals for the season for the former Porto and Atletico Madrid forward, who had to wait until early December to reach that mark last season. And he scored 21 times in Ligue 1 Conforama in 2016-17…
THE STAT: 36
Aside from extending their Ligue 1 Conforama record to 16 successive wins, Monaco have now found the net in their last 36 league games. The top-flight best is 40 matches, held by RC Paris and set between November 1962 and January 1964.