Can Radamel Falcao Lead Monaco to a Second Ligue 1 Title
10th August 2017. By Edward Stratmann.
Radamel Falcao marked his 50th Ligue 1 appearance in fine style by putting in a lively shift throughout AS Monaco’s league opening 3-2 win vs. Toulouse. Moreover, his wonderfully taken headed goal impressively saw him notch up his 33rd strike in his 40 starts and 10 substitute appearances in France too, a figure that’s especially admirable due to his battles with injury.
Having now scored 22 goals in the last 30 matches for the Monegasques, the 31-year-old is certainly showing no signs of slowing down. From the outset, the Colombian hitman was a persistent nuisance to the Toulouse backline, and his direct opponent, Christopher Julien, in particular, bore the brunt of his fine exertions.
Starting with his thoughtful movement, Falcao used his aptitude in this regard to find space in between the Toulouse midfield and defensive line, where he then used his strength and technical skills to hold up the ball and find a teammate with his crisp passing. He’d impressively use nifty double movements and feints to lose his marker momentarily to guarantee himself enough space to work in too.
The way he dovetailed his movement so effectively with his brilliant strike partner, Kylian Mbappe, ensured Toulouse were never able to settle into a rhythm of nullifying their threat. If one dropped deep, one would remain high and sit on the shoulder of the last defender, thus giving Monaco’s midfielders a short and a long option, while also seeing Monaco widen the gap in between the lines.
In addition, well executed lateral switches were also performed by the pair to manipulate Pascal Dupraz’s defensive unit, in a match where their purposeful variations proved vital.
The former FC Porto, Atletico Madrid, Manchester United and Chelsea forward was duly supported by the infield ventures of Monaco’s wingers, Thomas Lemar and Rony Lopes, who offered him ideal closeby options to progress his team’s offensive phases.
Amid rumours linking him with a move away from the Stade Louis II, with AC Milan reportedly very interested in signing him, he undoubtedly showed his class during the pulsating victory. At this stage, though, the man whose 21 league goals and five assists were vital in Monaco’s spectacular Ligue 1 triumph last season seems likely to stay and continue his impactful spell in France.
Despite the club losing some of their finest players in this transfer window including Tiemoue Bakayoko, Bernardo Silva, Benjamin Mendy and Valere Germain, the striker remains optimistic about thier title defence, saying: “Some important players have left, but other high quality players have come in. We have worked hard to be ready and to try and do even better this season.”
The Red and Whites have bolstered their squad with some encouraging signings, however, as they’ve brought in talented youngster Youri Tielemans from Anderlecht for £22.5million, Terence Kongolo from Feyenoord for £13.5million, Adama Diakhaby from Rennes for £9 million, former Zulte Wargem ace Soualiho Meite for £7.2million, Jordi Mboula from Barcelona for a fee of £2.7million and former Olympique Lyon whizz, Rachid Ghezzal on a free transfer.
Following extremely challenging spells with Chelsea and Manchester United in England, the club’s formidable captain is clearly relishing life in the French Riviera and enjoying his leadership role helping this talented young squad. “Being captain of this club is a privilege. It’s an honour to get to lead this group of immensely talented players, many of whom will go on to be important world-class figures in the future, in my opinion,” he recently explained in an interview with UEFA’s website.
“I’m enjoying it and trying to embrace the responsibility. When I see fit, I’m drawing on my experience to try to spur us on to our targets, and to help individual players if they ever have specific needs. That’s the gist of it: I’m trying to pass on my experience.”
With Falcao picking up where he left off from last crusade, you can guarantee Monaco’s trusted frontman will be doing everything in his power to help his side replicate their incredible feats from 2016/2017. If he keeps up his wicked scoring record, who knows, Leonardo Jardim’s men just might be able to overcome rivals PSG again and take home a second league championship in a row.
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