Monaco took a giant step towards the Ligue 1 title by beating relegation-threatened Nancy 3-0 at Stade Marcel Picot on Saturday.
Leonardo Jardim’s league leaders are three points clear of Paris Saint-Germain with a game in hand and a far superior goal difference, meaning a victory in one of their remaining three games will all-but secure the club its first title in 17 years.
Nancy went into the game on a dreadful run of form and they went behind after just three minutes when Tobias Badila put the ball past his own goalkeeper and Bernardo Silva doubled Monaco’s lead with a headed goal five minutes before half-time.
Thomas Lemar made it 3-0 in the 86th minute to complete the rout.
Nancy were outclassed but could still save their season if coach Pablo Correa can guide them to victory in their next game against fellow strugglers Dijon, and get something from the visit of Saint-Etienne on the final day.
Monaco, meanwhile, have the second leg of their Champions League semi-final against Juventus to navigate this week, but Jardim will be glad to have picked up three points while giving star striker Kylian Mbappe a much-needed rest.
Mbappe was among the substitutes as Monaco went on the attack from kick-off and they led after three minutes when Nabil Dirar’s pass allowed Valere Germain to break down the right flank.
The striker’s cross-cum-shot was turned into the net by Badila, whose attempted block sent the ball through the gap between goalkeeper Guy N’Dy Assembe and his near post.
Badila had a chance to make amends from close range 10 minutes later but he failed to get a shot away before Danijel Subasic charged out to smother the ball.
Subasic impressed further after 18 minutes when Antony Robic volleyed towards goal from the edge of the box and the Monaco goalkeeper made a good diving save, before Youssouf Hadji fired the rebound over the crossbar.
Monaco defender Jemerson made a last-ditch tackle to deny Faitout Maouassa a chance from close range after 38 minutes before the Brazilian had a hand in the second goal two minutes later.
After Jemerson headed Amine Bassi’s long ball clear of danger, Fabinho’s subsequent pass allowed Lemar the chance to burst clear of the Nancy defence and his cross was headed into the net at the far post by Silva.
— AS MONACO