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Ligue 1: Lyon Show Title Credentials with 4-1 Win over Nice to Go Top of the Table

Lyon (Photo Credit: Lyon Twitter)

Lyon (Photo Credit: Lyon Twitter)

Lyon showed just why it is a Ligue 1 title contender by winning at Nice 4-1 to go to the top table and stretch its unbeaten run to 13 games.

Lyon showed just why it is a contender to be reckoned with by winning at Nice 4-1 to go to the top of the French league and stretch its unbeaten run to 13 games on Saturday. The slick strike force of Memphis Depay, Tino Kadewere and Karl Toko Ekambi proved too much for Nice as Lyon moved one point ahead of Lille, and two clear of Paris Saint-Germain, ahead of their meeting on Sunday.

Depay put Lyon ahead with a coolly struck Panenka-style penalty in the 31st minute after Kadewere was fouled. Goalkeeper Walter Benitez was wrong-footed by Depay’s spot kick.

Seven minutes later, Kadewere made it 2-0 when he intercepted a poor pass in defense and finished confidently. But forward Amine Gouiri pulled a goal back just before the break against his former club, turning in a cross from attacking midfielder Rony Lopes.

Depay’s superb pass sent Kadewere sprinting through and he unselfishly set up Toko Ekambi for 3-1 in the 62nd. Toko Ekambi had another effort ruled out for offside before attacking midfielder Houssem Aouar completed the scoring in the 72nd from Leo Dubois’ right-wing cross.

After losing at Rennes in midweek, fourth-placed Marseille dropped more points when it was held at home by struggling Reims to 1-1.

The visitors took the lead after 20 minutes when Kosovo midfielder Arber Zeneli’s cross from the left was turned into his own net by Marseille defender Yuto Nagatomo.

Reims goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic made two good saves from striker Dario Benedetto, but winger Florian Thauvin equalized on the stroke of halftime when he finished at the back post after Benedetto’s header landed near him.

Marseille failed to exert enough pressure after that, much to the frustration of Thauvin.

"We are only playing passes sideways or backwards, we never take any risks," he said. "There isn’t enough movement, too many things are not working."

In the other game, Metz moved up to eighth place after beating Lens 2-0 at home.

Striker Opa Nguette gave Metz the lead and Farid Boulaya, who was involved in that goal, made it safe with an effort deep into injury time. Metz is rapidly improving under veteran coach Frederic Antonetti, who is in his second spell with the club.

PSG travels to play Lille without Neymar, who is recovering from a sprained ankle sustained late in last Sunday’s 1-0 home defeat to Lyon.

first published:December 20, 2020, 03:48 IST