Monaco’s title defense begins with comeback win; Mbappe injured
Editor’s note: Teenage sensation (and transfer target) Kylian Mbappe left Friday’s season opener with an apparent knee injury, as he hobbled off the field in the 75th minute.
MONACO (AP) Monaco lost key players during the offseason but not its fighting spirit as the French champion started its title defense with a 3-2 win over Toulouse on Friday after twice coming from behind.
Kamil Glik scored the winner with 20 minutes left after Jemerson and Radamel Falcao leveled twice for the hosts in the opening game of the season.
Monaco was one of the most spectacular teams in Europe last season, scoring 107 league goals in 38 games to win the title eight points clear of Paris Saint-Germain.
But the team was completely reshuffled this summer after the club sold left back Benjamin Mendy, central midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko, playmaker Bernardo Silva, forward Valere Germain and midfielder Nabil Dirar. Rival PSG, in turn, has been boosted by Brazil star Neymar’s arrival for a world record 222 million-euro ($262-million) price tag.
Monaco made a sloppy start on a hot evening but showed it still has the resources to defend its title, especially if star striker Kylian Mbappe decides to stay. The France international has been courted by major European teams and his future at Monaco remains unclear.
Mbappe did not score but was involved in dangerous moves before he was substituted in the 75th minute. Monaco’s midfield also worked well, with Joao Moutinho releasing quick passes that caught out Toulouse’s static defense.
Zinedine Machach and Andy Delort scored for Toulouse.