Nice stay top as Marseille earn wel­come win

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Nice held top spot in France with a 3-0 win at home against Toulouse on Sun­day as Marseille claimed just a sec­ond vic­tory in seven Ligue 1 matches by beat­ing Nancy 3-0.

First half goals from Alas­sane Plea and Younes Bel­handa set Nice on their way with Ivo­rian Jean Michael Seri round­ing off with his ninth goal of the cam­paign on 65 min­utes.

Nice have a three-point ad­van­tage on sec­ond-placed Monaco who whipped Bas­tia 5-0 on Satur­day with Paris Saint-Ger­main four points adrift of the lead­ers af­ter fall­ing 3-0 at Mont­pel­lier.

Nice cap­tain Dante ad­mit­ted the win was a psy­cho­log­i­cal boost ahead of next week­end’s clash with the cham­pi­ons at the Parc des Princes.

“We’ll ar­rive in Paris next week with a four­point lead,” said the Brazil­ian defender. “There will be a lit­tle less pres­sure. But we mustn’t get car­ried away. De­spite the de­feat at Mont­pel­lier, Paris re­main a great team. We’ve got to be pre­pared to suf­fer in Paris.”

Toulouse, the only team to have beaten both Monaco and Paris Saint-Ger­main this cam­paign, re­main stuck in eighth place. Ear­lier Florian Thau­vin struck just af­ter half-time at the Stade Velo­drome be­fore fel­low Premier League castoffs Bafe­timbi Gomis and Clin­ton Njie scored late goals af­ter Benoit Pe­dretti was sent off for Nancy.

It was just a fifth win in 16 matches for Marseille this sea­son as the fallen French giants climbed back into the top half of the ta­ble, 18 points be­hind lead­ers Nice. Rennes moved up to fourth as sec­ond-half goals from PaulGe­orges Ntep and Kamil Grosicki earned them a 2-0 win at home to Saint-Eti­enne.

On Satur­day, Radamel Fal­cao scored twice as Monaco thrashed Bas­tia 5-0, but PSG crashed to a 3-0 de­feat at Mont­pel­lier to lose ground in the ti­tle race. How­ever, the ac­tion was over­shad­owed by in­ci­dents in Metz where Lyon goal­keeper An­thony Lopes was taken to hospi­tal with hear­ing prob­lems af­ter home fans tar­geted the Por­tu­gal in­ter­na­tional with fire­crack­ers. For­tu­nately, the 26-year-old con­firmed there would be no last­ing dam­age, but Metz could face heavy sanc­tions from au­thor­i­ties in­clud­ing for­feit­ing a game they had led 1-0 be­fore it was aban­doned in the 31st minute. — AFP

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