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Leagues: Ligue Un

‘Phenomenon’ Mbappe keeps Monaco on League 1 title trail

Paris (AFP) – A dazzling double from teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe gave Monaco a 3-0 win at Caen on Sunday as the French Ligue 1 leaders opened a six-point gap on Paris Saint-Germain.

Monaco now have 71 points with eight games to play although Paris can close to within three points if they beat Lyon later.

Early season pace-setters Nice have 64 points after a 1-1 draw at Nantes on Saturday.

Four days after edging Manchester City into the Champions League quarter-finals, Mbappe, who scored in both legs of the City win, ran Caen ragged.

Caen coach Patrice Garande said after the game Monaco had been better in every department, but singled out Mbappe for special praise.

“They have an absolute phenomenon up front — he killed us on his own,” Garande admitted.

“We knew beforehand it was going to be a tough afternoon. We were deservedly beaten by a really, really great side.”

The 18-year-old Mbappe got off the mark on 13 minutes when, after a swift exchange of passes, he ran through the defence into the box and sent the ‘keeper the wrong way with a low hard shot.

Two days after being called up into the France squad for the first time, Mbappe proceeded to torment the Caen back-line into giving away a penalty converted by Fabinho on 49 minutes to make it 2-0.

He then headed the third off the underside of the bar late in the game for Monaco’s 87th goal of the league season. 

Next up for rampant Monaco is a date with Paris Saint Germain at the Stade de France in the League Cup final on April 1.

Several players were rested by Leonardo Jardim, including Portuguese star Bernardo Silva and midweek goal hero Tiemoué Bakayoko, for the long trip to Normandy.

On Saturday, Mario Balotelli endured a frustrating afternoon as Nice dropped two vital points in their draw at mid-table Nantes.

However, the south coast side still look set for at least a Champions League qualifying spot next season by finishing third.

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