Nice held 1-1 by strug­gling Bas­tia; PSG wins 2-1 at Lyon

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Alas­sane Plea missed a golden chance with three min­utes left as Nice saw its lead in the French league cut to one point af­ter a 1-1 home draw against strug­gling Bas­tia on Sun­day.

Play­ing with­out in­jured Mario Balotelli did not seem to be a prob­lem for Nice, which dom­i­nated the first half and took con­trol of the game af­ter Plea scored his eighth goal in 14 league ap­pear­ances.

On Nice’s sec­ond corner, Plea made no mis­take from a pre­cise cross from Jean-Michael Seri and out­jumped de­fend­ers to head the ball home at the far post in the 11th minute.

Bas­tia strug­gled for pos­ses­sion and did not threaten un­til a flash of bril­liance from Me­hdi Mostefa at the hour-mark. The Al­ge­rian-French mid­fielder dis­played great vi­sion to put Yan­nick Cahuzac on goal with a through pass. Cahuzac’s shot was par­ried away by ‘keeper Yoan Car­di­nale, but Enzo Criv­elli headed home the re­bound.

Nice pushed hard dur­ing the last 30 min­utes but was largely in­ef­fi­cient in front of goal as ‘keeper Jean-Louis Leca de­nied Valentin Eysseric and Younes Bel­handa be­fore Malang Sarr sent his header off the post.

With three min­utes left to play, Plea then looked like he would snatch the win for Nice af­ter he rounded Leca, but the winger smashed his pow­er­ful ef­fort against the bar with the goal empty.

Nice nar­rowly leads sec­ond­placed Monaco, which thrashed Mar­seille 4-0 on Fri­day, while Bas­tia left the rel­e­ga­tion zone on goal dif­fer­ence.

LYON 1, PSG 2

De­fend­ing cham­pion Paris Saint-Ger­main se­cured a big win at Lyon with a brace from Edin­son Ca­vani.

Ca­vani, the league’s top scorer with 13 goals in 12 matches, put PSG in front from the penalty spot af­ter 30 min­utes and slot­ted home the win­ner with nine min­utes left.

Mathieu Val­buena had lev­eled for Lyon just af­ter the in­ter­val.

Af­ter a stut­ter­ing start to the sea­son un­der new coach Unai Emery, PSG seems to have found the win­ning com­bi­na­tion. Third-placed PSG ex­tended its un­beaten run to 11 matches in all com­pe­ti­tions and moved within one point of Nice.

PSG largely dom­i­nated the first half, with Lyon play­ers touch­ing only one ball in the op­po­site box. Ca­vani wrong­footed goal­keeper An­thony Lopes to break the dead­lock af­ter Thi­ago Motta was fouled by Rafael.

The hosts lev­elled against the run of the play in the 48th when Rafael hit the post with a curled shot and Val­buena scored from the re­bound.

In a change of mo­men­tum, Lyon cre­ated two more chances through Alexan­dre La­cazette but was pun­ished on a coun­ter­at­tack led by Serge Aurier down the right flank. Thomas Me­u­nier then cut a per­fect cross for Ca­vani, who headed home at the far post.

Nice’s Alas­sane Plea, in ac­tion dur­ing a re­cent league match against St Eti­enne Photo: AP

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