PARIS (Reuters) – Angers captain Cheikh N’Doye scored two first half goals as second-placed Monaco slumped to a surprise 3-0 defeat on Saturday and their first Ligue 1 loss in 10 matches.
With Paris St Germain already far in the distance, 21 points clear and now with a game in hand, Monaco now face a fight to stay second with Angers moving up to third place and only two points adrift.
Nice, who are at Caen on Sunday, are fourth and just a point behind Angers. PSG are away at St Etienne, also on Sunday.
Angers had lost three of their previous four games, including a 5-1 thrashing by PSG last week, and not scored three goals in a match all season but Monaco were outplayed at the Stade Jean Bouin despite starting brightly.
Senegal midfielder N’Doye opened the scoring from close range with a deflection off his knee after a set piece in the 19th and poached his second in the 43rd after Billy Ketkeophomphone hit the bar.
Mohamed Yattara then scored his first for the club 10 minutes after the break.
“Angers were better than us in every aspect,” said Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim, whose players wore training kit to avoid a clash of colours with the hosts.
“Today I think it was a complete failure,” he added. “We didn’t play with the intensity needed. It’s hard to explain.”
At the bottom end of the table, Montpellier moved further away from the relegation zone in Frederic Hantz’s first match in charge as coach with a 4-0 win at Ajaccio. The bottom three clubs, Reims, Toulose and Troyes, all lost.
Montpellier had won just one of their previous seven matches and looked in danger of the drop but Hantz, who arrived on Tuesday, appeared to have worked some magic.
Mustapha Yatabare opened the scoring in the 14th minute and a Jonas Martin penalty made it 2-0 in the 41st. Bryan Dabo then scored twice in the second half to complete the rout for the 2012 champions.
Corsican side Bastia, now under interim coach Francois Ciccolini after Ghislain Printant was sacked during the week, enjoyed a 1-0 home win over a mediocre Olympique Lyon and moved up to 13th.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Brian Homewood)