Ligue 1 Roundup | PSG beaten again as Balotelli nets brace

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Lucien Favre must be doing most things right with Nice in Ligue 1 as his side finished 2017 top of the league and with some breathing space on the supposed challengers – Monaco and PSG. Also, old clubs like Marseille and Lyon are beginning to get back their vibe.


 

Monaco 1-3 Lyon

A 39th-minute red card must be held up as the cause of this loss even though Lyon showed the mettle that they have been known for, especially in Ligue 1. Bruno Mendy was sent off for a crude challenge on 39 minutes though by that point Lyon were already in the lead through Rachid Ghezzal. Man of the match, Mathieu Valbuena added the second in the 65th minute but Tiemoue Bakayoko got one back for the second-placed team on 70 minutes. Alexandre Lacazette then made up for his first half penalty miss with the third three minutes from the end.

 

Nice 2-1 Dijon

It was a return of Mario Balotelli and two goals gave the league leaders a 2-1 victory against a plucky Dijon side. The side placed 18th on the league table made this an awkward encounter after they leveled with a penalty of their own on 37 minutes through Júlio Tavares after Balotelli had opened scoring from the penalty spot in the 32n minute. But Favre’s side improved in the second half and Balotelli scored the winner just under the hour.

 

Guingamp 2-1 PSG

The Qatar-based backers of PSG would be thinking whether they made a mistake in letting off Laurent Blanc and taking Unai Emery instead. This is after the defending champions fell to their fourth loss in the league – the most they suffered last season was two and in the 2014/15 season, they suffered just the three losses. But just 17 weeks into the 2016/17 season, they have already suffered four losses – all away from the Parc des Princes. Edinson Cavani scored his 17th league goal in the loss but Emery must now know that he has to get in another striker in the January transfer window because the Uruguayan despite his prolific nature has also been profligate.

 

Results

 

Marseille got a 2-0 win over Lille to climb to sixth on the table, 17 points off leaders, Nice. In all, 29 goals were scored in the penultimate weekend of the season. On Wednesday, the last matches of 2016 would be played with Nice already guaranteed Winter champions and Emery would be hoping that his side can sign off the year with a win over bottom-placed Lorient.
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