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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Ligue 1 round-up: Radamel Falcao's late strike rescued a point for Monaco against Nice

Radamel Falcao scored a stoppage-time equaliser as Monaco rescued a 2-2 draw in the Cote d'Azur derby against Nice at Stade Louis II.
The hosts had gone into Tuesday night's match looking to close the gap on Ligue 1 leaders Paris St Germain - and also stay ahead of the chasing pack, and they took the lead after 33 minutes through a controversial effort from Adama Diakhaby with the striker having knocked the ball down with his hand before slotting in from close range.
Nice, looking to cement their place in the top six, were level soon after the restart when Balotelli knocked in his 11th league goal.
The much-travelled former AC Milan frontman then turned the match around after 68 minutes when his shot deflected in off defender Andrea Raggi as Nice came from behind to lead 2-1 with 22 minutes remaining.
The Aiglons, though, were denied victory just moments from the end as Falcao had the final say. The Colombian was on hand to knock the loose ball into an empty net and secure a point.
Despite fighting back to earn a draw, Monaco drop down to third after Marseille's win over Strasbourg earlier on Tuesday night.
Earlier, Marseille moved to second in Ligue 1 after a 2-0 home win over Strasbourg.
Rudi Garcia's men kept the pressure on behind runaway leaders Paris St Germain, but only following a couple of late goals at the Stade Velodrome.
The hosts looked set for a frustrating night when Valere Germain saw his penalty saved saved at full-stretch by Alexandre Oukidja after 72 minutes.
However, it was not long before the deadlock was broken as substitute Clinton Njie lashed in a loose ball at the far post.
Former West Ham playmaker Dimitri Payet added a second when set up by Njie to round the goalkeeper with three minutes left.
Marseille moved up from fourth and are now one point ahead of Monaco in second.
Tuesday's other early kick-off saw Caen win 2-0 at Bordeaux, who finished with 10 men.
Both teams looked like they would have to settle for a point as the match moved into the closing stages. Then, in the 87th minute, defender Paul Baysse was shown a straight red card for barging into Ivan Santini in the penalty area. Croatian forward Santini got up to score the resulting penalty.
Ronny Rodelin added the visitors' second in stoppage time, slotting in from the halfway line after the goalkeeper had gone up for a corner.
Caen are now ninth following a first league win since the 1-0 home victory over Bordeaux on November 25. Les Girondins, meanwhile, remain in 13th place.