Ligue 1 Roundup | Balotelli scores as Monaco hold PSG

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The top of Ligue 1 got tighter on Sunday after Monaco scored a late goal to hold PSG at the Parc des Princes. Nice had done their bit by getting back to winning ways with a 3-1 home win over Guingamp, in which Mario Balotelli scored his ninth league goal, all of which have been scored at the Allianz Riviera in Nice.

PSG 1-1 Monaco

Both managers - Unai Emery for PSG and Leonardo Jardim for Monaco, believed the result was a fair one. Edinson Cavani continued his goal rush with another - a penalty in the 81st minute but Bernardo Silva got the equalizer two minutes into added time. Monaco had 46% of the possession but had 13 corner kicks to the home side’s four. The visitors also had more shots on target; 7-3.

Jardim believes the title would not be won until the last weeks of the season. “The title race is very tight. It won't be until April or May that it will be won. This is the third time I've come to Paris. The first two times, we defended more than we attacked. Tonight it was more balanced.” While Emery said: “The team that proves the most consistent between now and the end of the season will take the league title.”

Nice 3-1 Guingamp

Mario Balotelli scored the third goal three minutes from time to earn a 14th league win of the season. Jimmy Briand had pulled a goal back for the visitors in the 67th minute minute to give Antoine Kombouare the fillip to go in search of the equalizer but Balotelli’s goal effectively killed off the game. It was the Italian’s ninth league goal - all of which have been scored at home. Maybe, Lucien Favre should keep him for only their home games.

Lyon 1-2 Lille

It is surely one step forward and two steps back for Lyon as they stumbled at home 2-1 to Patrick Collot’s Lille on Saturday. Lille, flirting with relegation scored in the 38th and 80th minutes to put Bruno Genesio’s side firmly in trouble and even a penalty scored four minutes from time by Alexandre Lacazette did nothing to uplift the disappointed crowd.

Collot in interim capacity at Lille said, “It was a beautiful evening. Even in our wildest dreams we had trouble thinking about coming here and winning. It's good in our position, as we needed points to move forward in the league.” For Genesio, it was a case of bad timing. “We thought that we'd be able to build on our great win over Marseille. Now we need to bounce back and buck up our ideas.”

Other matches
Marseille vented their anger on Montpellier with Bafetimbi Gomis snagging a hat trick while Dijon surprised Lorient at home 3-2. In all 32 goals were scored on Matchday 22, comprising seven wins and three draws. Only two teams - Nancy and Toulouse failed to score as they both lost at home to Bordeaux and Saint-Étienne respectively.

Next week sees table toppers, Monaco hosting second-placed Nice while PSG are away to Dijon.

Results
Marseille 5 - 1 Montpellier
Lyon 1 - 2 Lille
Nancy 0 - 2 Bordeaux
Lorient 2 - 3 Dijon
Bastia 1 - 1 Caen
Angers SCO 2 - 1 Metz
Rennes 1 - 1 Nantes
Nice 3 - 1 Guingamp
Toulouse 0 - 3 Saint-Étienne
PSG 1 - 1 Monaco

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