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Nice face a season of struggle

France
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 By PA Sport

Radamel Falcao's brace caps Monaco's win over Lille; Nice held by Angers

Radamel Falcao scored twice as Monaco ran out 4-0 winner on Friday.

Radamel Falcao scored a brace as Monaco thrashed Lille 4-0 to maintain the pressure on Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain.

The Colombian was on target twice after the break, with first-half efforts from Stevan Jovetic and Rachid Ghezzal setting the principality side on their way to a sixth win from seven in the league this term.

Jovetic opened the scoring after 24 minutes when he turned his defender on the edge of the box and fired home a low effort.

Ghezzal doubled Monaco's lead six minutes later when he met Almamy Toure's cross from the right at the back post.

A brilliant run down the left by Rony Lopes three minutes after half-time resulted in the Portugal midfielder's shot being saved by Mike Maignan, but Falcao was on hand to head in the rebound.

And the Colombian added a fourth from the spot with 17 minutes remaining after Brazilian full-back Jorge was brought down inside the area to leave Lille without a win since the opening day of the season.

Elsewhere, Mario Balotelli scored from the spot as Nice came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw with Angers.

Les Aiglons went 2-0 down inside 34 minutes but Italy forward Balotelli's spot-kick -- his 15th goal in 15 Ligue 1 matches at Allianz Riviera -- reduced the deficit before half-time and an Ismael Traore own goal saw Nice equalise with 11 minutes remaining.

Mateo Pavlovic gave Angers the lead after 12 minutes when he headed in a free-kick at the back post and Yoann Andreu's precise cross from the left allowed Cameroonian Karl Toko Ekambi to double the visitors' advantage.

Balotelli slotted home a 39th-minute penalty after Thomas Mangani was controversially adjudged to have handled and another set-piece denied Angers as Traore headed a corner into his own net.

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