Cyprus Mail
European football

Monaco thrash Toulouse to start title defence with win

Monaco players celebrate

French champions Monaco opened their Ligue 1 title defence with a 3-2 comeback win at home against Toulouse on Friday, showing the same attacking flair that took them to the top of the league last season.

Although they looked shaky at the back, Leonardo Jardim’s team, who scored 107 goals last term, were too hot to handle for Toulouse as they prevailed with goals by Jemerson, Radamel Falcao and Kamil Glik.

Toulouse twice went ahead thanks to goals from Zinedine Machach and Andy Delort, before collapsing under pressure.

Last year’s runner-ups Paris St Germain open their campaign on Saturday against Amiens with record signing Neymar to be presented at the Parc des Princes after joining from Barcelona for a 222-million euro ($261 million) fee.

Monaco’s defence were caught snoozing in the sixth minute when they allowed Machach to volley past Danijel Subasic from just outside the box.

It did not take the hosts too long, though, to react and in the 28th minute, Jemerson equalised with a fine header from Joao Moutinho’s corner kick.

New signing Rony Lopes was the most dangerous Monaco player, although the Toulouse defence proved to be a tough nut to crack.

Eight minutes into the second half the principality side fell behind again.

Fullback Djibril Sidibe lost the ball in his own half to Jimmy Durmaz, who set up Delort, the striker coolly slotting the ball home from just inside the box.

Monaco drew level when Falcao netted his 33rd goal in 50 league games with Monaco, heading home from Kylian Mbappe’s cross.

In the 70th, Glik sent another header past Alban Lafont, deflecting Moutinho’s free kick to put Monaco ahead for the first time.

Mbappe was replaced after suffering a minor leg injury by Allan Saint-Maximin 15 minutes from time.

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