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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

Thierry Henry off the mark as Monaco beat Caen; PSG stay perfect in absence of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe

French manager claims his first win thanks to Radamel Falcao's second half free-kick

Radamel Falcao, second left, scored the only goal in Monaco's Ligue 1 win over Caen on Saturday. AFP
Radamel Falcao, second left, scored the only goal in Monaco's Ligue 1 win over Caen on Saturday. AFP

Thierry Henry insisted results are more important than performance at this stage after registering his first win as Monaco manager on Saturday.

Colombian striker Radamel Falcao secured victory for Monaco with a free-kick nine minutes into the second half of their Ligue 1 match away at fellow strugglers Caen.

Henry could be seen smiling on the touchline as his players celebrated Falcao's winner wildly. The win was just Monaco's second of the season, and the principality club remain in the relegation zone.

"I'm happy for the team, all the fans, we needed that, even if it was not a match for the purists," Henry said. "Style is important, in general, but ... we can think about style later."

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Read more:

'He came for the long term': Monaco support Thierry Henry after heavy defeat to PSG

Thierry Henry wants 'to keep positive despite negatives' after Monaco defeat

Big dates await Thierry Henry but Monaco must get back to winning ways quickly

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Falcao's fifth league goal of the campaign secured Monaco's first win in any competition since the opening day of the league season.

The victory came seven games into Henry's reign at Monaco, where a host of injuries has further complicated an already difficult start to his tenure.

"This is only the beginning, there are still a lot of matches and battles to come," the former Arsenal and Barcelona striker said. "I am happy for the team, for the hard work they put in that for a while was not rewarded."

Disjointed PSG remain perfect

Edinson Cavani scored the only goal in Paris Saint-Germain's win over and Toulouse. AFP
Edinson Cavani scored the only goal in Paris Saint-Germain's win over and Toulouse. AFP

Earlier on Saturday, Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani saved a disjointed performance from runaway leaders PSG to maintain their 100 per cent start to the season ahead of the crunch Uefa Champions League clash with Liverpool on Wednesday.

Neymar and Kylian Mbappe were both injured during friendlies in the international break, and PSG are sweating on their recovery for the huge Group C clash, with the Parisians a point behind Liverpool and Napoli and aiming to qualify from the competition's tightest group.

Shorn of their two star forwards, PSG dominated possession but struggled to create chances against 15th-placed Toulouse.

However, manager Thomas Tuchel said that he was "optimistic" that the pair could return for the match at the Parc des Princes.

"I am more optimistic (than on Friday) because both did individual training today," Tuchel said. "I hope they will be able to train with the whole team on Monday."

Cavani ensured that their domestic dominance was consolidated when he controlled a ninth-minute knockdown after a period of scrappy play, then spun Toulouse defender Kelvin Amian with a neat flick before firing home the winner.

His goal put PSG 15 points ahead of second placed Lyon, who prevailed in a tight derby with Saint-Etienne on Friday night thanks to Jason Denayer's second half header.

On Sunday, Lille can take back second place from Lyon with a win over Nice, while local rivals Montpellier and Marseille continue their battle for the Champions League places.

Rudi Garcia's Marseille are sixth but would overtake Saint-Etienne should they beat lowly Amiens, while their fellow southern club Montpellier take on Rennes knowing a win would take them second should Lille stumble at Nice.