In his return to club soccer after the international break, Radamel Falcao converted what proved to be the game-winning goal against Lorient, giving his recently promoted AS Monaco side sole control over the top of the Ligue 1.
Falcao’s fourth goal in five league games with his new team came from the penalty spot, after the Colombian striker himself was brought down inside the right edge of the box, running onto a through ball from Lucas Ocampos.
Ocampos had split two defenders up the right sideline before sliding a well-weighted pass behind the Lorient backline, in time to find a streaking Falcao just before the opposing goalkeeper, Fabien Audard, caught his left foot on a slide. Replays showed that Falcao dragged his foot, but there was enough contact for the penalty to be awarded, and the Colombian goalscorer followed up his deft box presence with a surgical performance from 12 yards out.
Falcao froze the hapless Audard with a stutter step, and tucked a cool pass into the right corner of the net, marking the game’s only goal.
The three points put Monaco atop the leader board, one point clear of Saint Etienne in second, and two points clear of defending champion Paris Saint-Germain at third, and the goal placed Falcao at number three in the goal scorers list, one tally behind his second-half substitute, Emmanuel Riviere, who holds the joint lead.
Fellow Colombian national James Rodriguez started the game on the bench, but made an appearance at the 69-minute mark.
Monaco’s massive summer spending spree, which brought both Falcao and Rodriguez to the Ligue 1’s newest side, has shown immediate results, as the principality club has gone from second-division soccer to league leaders in a stretch of only five games.