James Rodríguez helps Monaco match Paris

James Rodríguez helps Monaco match Paris

James Rodríguez struck twice as AS Monaco FC triumphed 2-0 at SC Bastia to return to within five points of Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain.

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Carlo Ancelotti's charges swept past lowly Valenciennes FC 3-0 on Friday, but the pressure served only to elicit a positive response from second-placed Monaco, who prevailed in Corsica thanks to James Rodríguez's first league goals of 2014.

The Colombia international whipped in a powerful free-kick from the edge of the area to open the scoring on the cusp of half-time. He capped an irresistible personal performance with 14 minutes to go, driving at goal from the halfway line and drilling in from 18 metres.

In the pick of the day's later kick-offs, Stade de Reims can move level on points with fifth-placed Olympique de Marseille with a home win against FC Girondins de Bordeaux, while FC Sochaux-Montbéliard look to boost their survival prospects at home against struggling EA Guingamp.

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