PARIS (AP) — Radamel Falcao underlined his worth to defending champion Monaco with a late goal to beat Metz 1-0 in the French league on Friday.

The striker pounced with an opportunist finish in the 79th minute, latching onto a fine pass from substitute midfielder Rachid Ghezzal and slotting home from close range.

Falcao's fifth goal of the season helped Monaco to a third straight win and a French record 15th straight in the league — surpassing Bordeaux's 14 from the 2008-09 season. Monaco tops the league.

The buildup had been all about Monaco leaving out Kylian Mbappe, who is pushing for a move to rival Paris Saint-Germain. The 18-year-old forward is rated at upward of 160 million euros ($187 million) and wants to play alongside Neymar at PSG.

Monaco coped without Mbappe last weekend, too, winning at Dijon 4-1 as Falcao netted a superb hat trick.

This match opposed last season's top scorers — Monaco netted 107 league goals — and the worst defense — Metz conceded 72.

But Metz, which lost the corresponding home fixture 7-0 last season, competed well.

Soon after Monaco striker Guido Carrillo hit the post with a downward header in the 60th minute, Metz center forward Nolan Roux forced a sprawling save from goalie Danijel Subasic.

Monaco then got on top and Ghezzal — a summer signing from Lyon — beat his marker and cleverly picked out the run of Falcao, who skipped past goalkeeper Thomas Didillon before tapping in.

PSG, which has won its first two matches, hosts Toulouse on Sunday.