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September 21, 2014

Emirates Cup

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Falcao makes return from injury

Radamel Falcao (c) passes the ball under pressure.

LONDON — Monaco striker Radamel Falcao made his first appearance for over six months as a second-half substitute in his side’s 2-2 friendly draw against Valencia in London yesterday.

The 28-year-old Colombia international had not played since rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during a French Cup game against amateur side Chasselay on January 22.

The injury cut short his debut season at the big-spending Ligue 1 club and prevented him from appearing at the World Cup, where Colombia reached the quarterfinals.

Falcao replaced Dimitar Berbatov with 18 minutes to play at the Emirates Stadium, taking up a central role alongside Valere Germain in a 4-4-2 system, but did not manage any attempts on goal.

“Falcao played for 20 minutes to help him overcome his anxiety, which is natural when you come back after six months without playing,” said Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim. “He played well. It was important for him to play a bit, so tomorrow (today, against Arsenal) he can play from the beginning.”

Falcao has been linked with a move to Real Madrid, who have already signed his international teammate James Rodríguez from Monaco in a deal worth around 80 million euros (US$108 million).

New signing Alexis Sánchez made his first appearance in Arsenal’s colours but French striker Yaya Sanogo stole the limelight with a four-goal blast in a 5-1 victory over Benfica.

Chile forward Sánchez, signed for around US$58.86 million from Barcelona last month, came on as a late substitute but by then Sanogo and Costa Rica striker Joel Campbell had done the damage.

The 21-year-old Sanogo has yet to start a Premier League game since joining from Auxerre in July 2013 while Campbell has spent his entire Arsenal career on loan at Lorient, Real Betis and Olympiakos Piraeus.

However, they showed yesterday at The Emirates stadium that coach Arsene Wenger will have plenty of attacking options this season.

Herald staff with agencies

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