Falcao bags a brace as Monaco advance to League Cup final
Radamel Falcao struck twice on Wednesday night as Monaco beat Montpellier 2-0 to advance to the final of the French League Cup on 31 March. Monaco will play holders Paris Saint-Germain who beat them 4-1 in last year's showdown at the Stade de France.
Falcao gave Monaco the lead against Montpellier in the 15th minute at the Stade Louis II. On the half-hour mark he doubled the advantage.
"Falcao hadn't scored in three games but everyone knows he's a big player and all these kind of players know there are times when they don't score," said Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim.
Twelve months ago, Monaco were setting the pace in Ligue 1. They were also in the last 16 of the Uefa Champions League and also involved in the French Cup.
Jardim's men went on to claim the French title for the first time since 2000. That was the only piece of silverware they won. PSG pulverised them in the semi-finals of the French Cup and they lost in the Uefa Champions League semi-finals to Juventus.
A year on, Monaco are out of the French Cup and are fourth in Ligue 1 with 47 points after 23 games. PSG set the pace with 59 points and rather than pursuing the title, Monaco are involved in a scrap with Lyon and Marseille for second and third places which lead to participation in next season's Champions League.
"I'm happy that we're through," added Jardim. "We've put a lot of commitment into this competition. Now we have time to think about the final. We will prepare better for it than last season."
Montpellier boss Michel Der Zakarian rued his side's start to the match.
"We didn't play properly," he admited. "Our choices weren't right for the start of a semi-final. We didn't defend well and got caught on the counter-attack.
"But on saying that, the players battled hard so I can't fault them for that. We just have to be better in front of goal."
PSG, who have won the League Cup for an unprecedented four consecutive seasons, moved into the final following a 3-2 win at Rennes on Tuesday.