Nice back to top Ligue 1 after win at St-Etienne

paris, Nov 21 (IANS) Nice clinched a 1-0 win at Saint-Etienne to reclaim the top spot in the French Ligue 1 football and go three points clear over Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain.

Valentin Eysseric, who spent last season on loan at Saint-Etienne, scored the winner in the 63rd minute, firing a left-footed strike into the top corner after Jordan Veretout had lost possession in a dangerous area for the hosts here on Sunday, reports Xinhua.

His goal took Nice three points clear of Monaco, who won 3-0 at Lorient on Friday, and Paris St-Germain, who beat Nantes 2-0 at home on Saturday.

The loss condemned Saint-Etienne to their first home defeat in 10 games. The ninth-placed home side has now won only one of its last six matches.

Alassane Plea fired off-target with two late opportunities, and was then denied by home goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier as Nice sought a second goal.

The visitors’ main scare came about early on, when Dante almost scored an own goal with a sliced clearance.

Lucien Favre’s men, playing without the suspended Mario Balotelli and injured captain Paul Baysse, thus avoided losing two straight league games after suffering their first defeat away to Caen two weeks ago.

Earlier on Sunday, Portugal defender Rolando’s goal nine minutes from time helped Marseille to a 1-0 win over Caen.

Jimmy Briand earned high-flying Guingamp a point with an injury-time goal after Bordeaux led through Igor Lewczuk’s 22nd-minute header, but missed out on a 78th-minute penalty.

–IANS

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