PARIS, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Radamel Falcao scored twice in the second half as Monaco broke clear of Nice at the top of Ligue 1 with a 3-0 home win over their neighbours on Saturday.
After a shaky start, Monaco found their pace and Bernardo Silva had two first-half strikes saved by goalkeeper Yoan Cardinale.
Valere Germain opened the scoring from Benjamin Mendy's cross two minutes into the second half. Nice's hopes of an equaliser were thwarted six minutes later when Mario Balotelli, who had a below-par game, was ruled offside as they took a corner.
Colombia international Falcao picked up a pass from Mendy to score his first goal in the 60th minute and took his league tally to 14 with nine minutes remaining when he beat Cardinale with a shot into the corner of the net.
Nice's Alassane Plea squandered a last-chance Dalbert Henrique cross in the game's dying minutes.
Monaco's victory, avenging September's 4-0 away defeat to Nice, put them three points ahead in the league table, having led their southern rivals on goal difference going in. (Reporting by Laurence Frost; Editing by Clare Fallon)