Quick-fire Monaco breeze past Metz to go second in Ligue 1

<a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Takumi Minamino;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Takumi Minamino</a> (C) celebrates with team-mates after opening the scoring for <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Monaco;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Monaco</a> against <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Metz;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Metz</a> (Jean-Christophe VERHAEGEN)

Monaco flew out of the traps at Metz on Saturday, scoring three goals in the opening quarter-hour as they moved up to second in Ligue 1 with a 5-2 victory.

Adi Huetter's side brushed aside their lowly hosts courtesy of three goals in quick succession from Takumi Minamino, Maghnes Akliouche and Vanderson before Folarin Balogun added a second-half brace either side of Pape Amadou Diallo and Ibou Sane strikes for Metz.

"We managed to put in a very good first half, both in front of goal and defensively. We need to keep up the momentum and repeat that half (of football)," said Akliouche.

"We've got seven games left in the race for Europe, so we're going to try and win as many as we can."

The win lifts Monaco to second place with 49 points, 10 behind leaders Paris Saint-Germain who travel to Marseille for Le Classique on Sunday.

Japan's Minamino gave Monaco the perfect start after four minutes when he turned on Eliesse Ben Seghir's pass near the six-yard box and rifled a shot past Alexandre Oukidja in the Metz goal.

Akliouche doubled the lead on 10 minutes, pouncing on Kevin Van Den Kerkhof's lax touch in the centre circle before driving through the middle of the pitch and rolling a composed left-footed finish past the 'keeper.

The match was effectively over just six minutes later when Vanderson guided a stretching volley into the far corner from an Aleksandr Golovin cross.

Metz goalkeeper Oukidja gifted Monaco a fourth goal on 76 minutes when he tried a backheel past Balogun, but the striker blocked it with his leg and into the open goal.

Two minutes later, Diallo snatched a goal for 17th-placed Metz to give them hope and Sane tapped home on 84 minutes.

But Balogun settled any potential nerves for Monaco, converting from a corner to send the principality side two points ahead of third-place Brest, who play at Brittany rivals Lorient on Sunday.

Later on Saturday, Lyon held Reims to a 1-1 draw at the Groupama Stadium that left both teams anchored in midtable.

Joseph Okumu opened the scoring 10 minutes into the second half with his first Ligue 1 goal since arriving from Gent last summer.

A win would have taken Will Still's side up to seventh place, but in the 65th minute Ernest Nuamah headed in the equaliser from Said Benrahma's cross to ensure the points were shared.