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PARIS, August 12, 2018 (News Wires) - Second-half substitute Radamel Falcao scored one goal and provided the assist for another as last season's runners-up AS Monaco cruised past Nantes 3-1 for a winning start to their Ligue 1 campaign.

Skipper Falcao came on after 67 minutes at the Stade de La Beaujoire and sparked Leonardo Jardim's team into action as they scored three times in 14 minutes to kill off the contest.

Attacking midfielder Rony Lopes got the opener, heading a deflected cross past Nantes goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu in the 69th minute. Falcao's clever flick then helped fellow striker Stevan Jovetic double the lead 10 minutes from time.

Colombia international Falcao rounded off the scoring by running on to Samuel Grandsir's pass and neatly finishing in the 82nd minute. Nantes substitute Emiliano Sala pulled one back for the hosts in added time.

Newly-promoted Nimes Olympique marked their first top-flight match for 25 years with a comeback victory over Angers in a seven-goal thriller.

Nimes forward Clement Depres scored a brace while Sada Thioub and Renaud Ripart also found the net to cancel out strikes by Pierrick Capelle, Angelo Fulgini and Ismael Traore.

Former France and Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira began his career in charge of Nice with a tame 1-0 defeat by Stade Reims. Nice never recovered from Malian winger Moussa Doumbia's third minute goal.

St Etienne needed a late goal from French forward Lois Diony to seal a 2-1 victory over Guingamp. Wahbi Khazri had given 10-times Ligue 1 champions St Etienne the lead in the 45th minute before Guingamp equalised through Marcus Thuram, the son of former France defender Lilian Thuram.

Lille powered past Stade Rennais 3-1 while Dijon too began with a win by seeing off Montpellier 2-1.

 

SHENZEN, China, August 5, 2018 (News Wires) - Brazilian superstar Neymar made his first club appearance since February as Paris Saint-Germain thrashed Monaco 4-0 in the Champions Trophy in China on Sunday

Angel Di Maria’s double fired PSG to their first silverware under new coach Thomas Tuchel as Neymar, long sidelined by a metatarsal fracture, came on as a late substitute.

Di Maria’s thunderous free kick opened the scoring on 33 minutes and he grabbed PSG’s fourth in injury time following strikes from Christopher Nkunku and Tim Weah.

It was a comprehensive win for the reigning French champions in the season’s curtain-raiser, even without Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani who are yet to return after the World Cup.

PSG, with their names in Chinese characters on the back of their shirts, were the aggressors and they took the lead via Di Maria’s sumptuous free kick on 33 minutes.

The Argentina forward swept over the wall and into the top right corner from 25 metres, evading Diego Benaglio’s despairing dive.

As Tuchel watched while sitting on an ice box in the technical area, Nkunku made it 2-0 on 40 minutes with a close-range finish from Stanley Nsoki’s inviting cross.

Weah went close and Di Maria then left Benaglio nursing sore fingers with a powerful drive near the break as the French champions went into half-time firmly in control.

Weah put the win beyond doubt in the 67th minute when he stroked home Nsoki’s lay-back, before Nkunku rattled the crossbar from close range shortly afterwards.

There were loud cheers from the 41,000-strong Shenzhen crowd when Neymar was introduced on 76 minutes but the world’s most expensive player, last seen in Brazil’s World Cup quarter-final loss to Belgium, couldn’t add to the scoresheet.

Di Maria, deservedly, had the last word when Adrien Rabiot’s long run set him up for an easy finish which he slotted past the beleaguered Benaglio in the third added minute.

 

CAIRO, July 7, 2018 (MENA) - Egyptian Antiquities Minister Khaled Anany presented Prince Albert II of Monaco a copy of Ka statue belonging to King Tutankhamun.

The minister invited the prince to visit Egypt and its monuments especially the Eastern Port in Alexandria to watch the sunken antiquities besides the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) after being inaugurated.

This came during inauguration of "The Golden Treasures of the Pharaohs" exhibition by Prince Albert II and Anany on Friday evening, said a statement issued by the Antiquities Ministry on Saturday.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by a galaxy of reporters in addition to a number of public figures of Monaco, Italy, France, Belgium and England, the statement read.

The prince presented the minister a number of stamps issued by Monaco to celebrate the Egyptian civilization.

Prince Albert II expressed admiration for the exhibition, the statement added.

MONACO, July 7, 2018 (MENA) - Prince Albert II of Monaco and Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Khaled el Anani inaugurated the Egyptian artifacts exhibition, themed The Golden Treasures of the Pharaohs – 2,500 Years of the Goldsmith’s Art in Ancient Egypt”, to run from July 7 to September 9.

During the opening Friday, the prince hailed the exhibition and Egypt’s Pharaonic civilization as one of the most important civilizationsin the ancient world.

He also welcomed the Egyptian delegation and called for boosting bilateral relations in the cultural and antiquities fields.

The inauguration ceremony was also attended by Tourism Minister Rania el Mashat. A host of diplomats and archaeologists also attended the event.

The two-month exhibition includes 150 artifacts from the Egyptian Museum. This is the second temporary exhibition hosted by Monaco after the 2009 exhibition which displayed 26 artifacts.

 

 

Ricciardo wins Monaco GP

MONTE CARLO, Monaco, May 28, 2018 (News Wires) - Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo steadied his nerve when victory threatened to escape him again as he overcame a significant midrace power loss to win the Monaco Grand Prix from pole position.

After guzzling champagne from his sweaty shoe — as he likes to do — it was time to cool off. The popular Australian swan-dived into the swimming pool located on the roof of Red Bull's motorhome in Monaco's glitzy harbor.

Better known for his attacking prowess and razor-sharp overtaking, Ricciardo had earlier shown outstanding defensive driving to fend off Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari despite losing an estimated 25 percent of his engine power.

Vettel closed to within one second of Ricciardo with more than half of the 78-lap race left. It seemed certain the German would pass him at some point, but Ricciardo held firm for the seventh win of his career.

Even though the 3.34-kilometer (2.1-mile) street circuit is narrow and notoriously difficult to overtake on, it was still a remarkable drive by Ricciardo, given his damaging power deficit.

"So much went on for me in that race, trying to figure out what was going on," said Ricciardo, who was fastest in all three practice sessions as well as qualifying. "This was probably the best weekend of my career."

Vettel shaved a few points off championship leader Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes, who finished third.

"I think we had the pace," Vettel said after missing out on a 50th career win. "But Daniel had the answers all the time."

Hamilton made an audacious move by pitting for new tires several laps before his rivals, but was worried they would wear out by the end.

"It would have been nice to have come second but I did all I could," Hamilton said.

In the end, Ricciardo's winning margin was seven seconds — but only because Vettel lost time after the virtual safety car came out for the last few laps. The incident happened when Charles Leclerc shunted his Sauber into the back of Brendon Hartley's Toro Rosso. Drivers are not allowed to overtake when the VSC is deployed and must maintain a steady speed. It happened too late to influence the race.

Kimi Raikkonen was fourth for Ferrari, ahead of Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas and Force India's Esteban Ocon.

Max Verstappen — Ricciardo's Red Bull teammate — finished ninth after starting from last having crashed prior to Saturday's qualifying.

A strong drive from Verstappen, gaining 11 positions, but the day belonged to Ricciardo.

It was his second win of the season after the Chinese GP last month, pushing him up to third in the title race. It also felt like payback time.

Ricciardo thought he'd won in Monaco two years ago, leading from pole only to be undone by a botched pit stop which left him furious with his own team.

He drove like a man on a mission.

"Two years in the making and I finally feel redemption has arrived," Ricciardo said. "I thought the race was over."

He soon displayed his typical showmanship, standing perfectly still on his car, nodding slowly and then thumping his chest.

MONACO, May 28, 2018 (News Wires) - Daniel Ricciardo's stock has never been higher after a dominant Monaco Grand Prix weekend that saw him stand on the podium above two world champions whose 2019 team mates have yet to be confirmed.

The Australian is out of contract with Red Bull at the end of the season and champions Mercedes or Ferrari, the top two teams, are obvious possible alternatives.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel was second in Monaco with championship leader Lewis Hamilton third for Mercedes but Ricciardo led every single practice and qualifying session and throughout the race.

Red Bull also want the 28-year-old to stay, but will be expected to pay a lot more than at present given Ricciardo's success.

"You could say the day's maybe made Daniel more expensive, it's put his value up," Red Bull principal Christian Horner told reporters.

"Or you could say it's put the team in a stronger position in terms of its value and potential to him."

Ricciardo has won two races this year, the same number as Vettel and Hamilton, and is third overall -- albeit 38 points behind Britain's Hamilton.

The Australian would be a lot closer had he not retired early on with an electrical problem in Bahrain and been in a collision with team mate Max Verstappen in Azerbaijan.

Verstappen, 20, is on a lucrative long-term contract but has had a season full of mistakes and crashes.

Horner hoped a new deal with Ricciardo could be reached "in the next couple of months" but recognised much would depend on what engine Red Bull had next season.

The former champions use Renault power units but have been linked to Honda, now with Red Bull-owned Toro Rosso.

Honda's engines have improved considerably after three dismal years with McLaren, and France's Pierre Gasly finished seventh for Toro Rosso on Sunday.

Mercedes say they are not looking beyond their immediate "family" at present, with Finland's Valtteri Bottas performing well as Hamilton's team mate, and Ferrari could retain veteran Kimi Raikkonen.

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