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Balogun scores twice as Monaco routs Metz and rises to second in Ligue 1

Lyon's Ernest Nuamah, right, challenges for the ball with Reims' Amadou Kone during the French League One soccer match between Lyon and Reims at the Groupama stadium, outside Lyon, France, Saturday, March 30, 2024. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

METZ, France (AP) — United States forward Falorin Balogun scored twice as Monaco thrashed Metz 5-2 and moved up to second place in the French league on Saturday.

Monaco scored three times in 16 minutes early to silence the home crowd at Stade Saint-Symphorien.

Monaco moved two points above Brest, which plays at Lorient on Sunday.

Paris Saint-Germain has a 10-point lead over Monaco before facing bitter rival Marseille on Sunday in French soccer's biggest game.

Metz remained in the relegation zone in 17th place, three points above last-placed Clermont.

Host Metz was caught cold in the third minute when Tukumi Minamino made the most of a perfect delivery from Eliesse Ben Seghir to put Monaco ahead. Maghnes Akliouche doubled the Riviera side's lead before Vanderson volleyed a cross home.

Balogun made the most of goalkeeper Alexandre Oukidja's blunder to score Monaco's fourth goal.

Papa Amadou Diallo's and Ibou Sané's goals gave hope to Metz and its fans of a comeback but their efforts turned out to be mere consolation as Balogun completed Monaco's emphatic win.

Seven-time champion Lyon later drew with Reims 1-1 in a mid-table clash.

Lyon conceded from a corner in the 55th minute when Joseph Okumu found the net from very close range. The host leveled 10 minutes later through substitute Ernest Nuamah, who came off the bench at halftime and scored with a header.

Lyon remained in 10th place, four points behind Reims.

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