Ligue 1: Angers topples second-place Monaco to move into third
PARIS (AP) — Captain Cheikh N'Doye scored a brace as Angers thrashed second-place Monaco 3-0 to climb to third in the French league on Saturday.
After slumping to a 5-1 loss against leader Paris Saint-Germain last week, Angers recovered in style with its biggest win this season to end Monaco's nine-match unbeaten run in the league.
Monaco players wore their training jerseys to avoid a clash of colors with Angers' outfit and dominated in the early stages as Bernardo Silva lost his one-on-one with goalie Alexandre Letellier.
The momentum changed when Angers players started to play higher, pegging back the visitors in their own half to orchestrate well-constructed attacks.
"Angers were better than us in every aspect," Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim said after his players were handed their first league loss since Nov. 8. "We did not play with the intensity required."
N'Doye's goals from close range came in the first half, and Mohamed Yattara sealed the promoted side's win soon after halftime.
"When you look at the result, one can think it was easy," Angers coach Stephane Moulin said. "We really wanted to play a big game, and we did it, against a team of very good dynamics. That makes our performance even better. We are a small club, a small team, we have small players, a small staff, but also a little bit of pride."
N'Doye deflected in Romain Saiss' shot with his knee, then doubled the lead with his seventh goal this season two minutes before halftime with a poacher's goal, getting to the ball first to beat goalkeeper Danijel Subasic after Billy Ketkeophomphone hit the crossbar.
Yattara converted a cross from Sunu, as Angers snapped a three-match losing run in all competitions to move within two points of Monaco.
Runaway leader PSG will extend its lead over Monaco to 24 points if it beats Saint-Etienne on Sunday at Geoffroy-Guichard Stadium in the weekend's showpiece match.