Paris (AFP) – Radamel Falcao starred as Monaco strengthed their grip on second place in Ligue 1 with a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Nantes in the principality on Saturday.

Captain Falcao scored one and created another as reigning champions Monaco moved eight points clear of third-placed Marseille, although they remain 14 points behind champions elect Paris Saint-Germain.

Midfielder Adrien Thomasson put Nantes into a 32nd-minute lead with a magnificent strike, bringing down a long ball and firing a dipping volley over Monaco goalkeeper Danijel Subasic and into the far corner.

But Monaco turned the game around in the space of three minutes before half-time.

Falcao drilled in an equaliser from Rony Lopes’ excellent lay-off after Fabinho’s driven cross.

The Colombian international, despite struggling with injuries for much of the campaign, has now scored 24 goals in all competitions this season.

Portuguese winger Lopes has also been in fine form this term, and he gave Leonardo Jardim’s hosts the lead with a clever turn and left-footed strike after being picked out by Falcao.

Nantes hung in the game in the second half but couldn’t find an equaliser, and Claudio Ranieri’s men remain two points off a Europa League spot.

Players and fans paid their respects before the match to Le Havre youngster Samba Diop, who died earlier on Saturday at the age of 18.

The second-division French club did not state the midfielder’s cause of death.

“This is a horrible moment for all the players, from the academy to the professional squad,” the club said in a statement.

PSG could seal the title next weekend when they welcome Monaco to the Parc des Princes, despite Friday’s 1-1 draw at Saint-Etienne.