Nice level with Ligue 1 leaders Monaco after 2-1 win over Montepellier

Nice, Feb 25 (IANS) Nice provisionally moved up to the second place ahead of defending champions Paris Saint-Germain, also leveling on points with leaders Monaco with a 2-1 comeback win against Montpellier in Ligue 1.

The win for Nice on Friday was created by rare substitute Mickael Le Bihan’s brace after his 17-month absence from the pitch.

Montpellier broke the deadlock nine minutes into the game, as the hosts didn’t clear a free kick from Ryad Boudebouz, before Steve Mounie scored his 11th league goal of the season, reports Xinhua news agency.

Le Bihan last played in the French top-flight league in September 2015 before suffering a stress fracture in his shin.

He came off the bench in the second half for Nice, who were without their two key offensive elements Alassane Plea (injured) and Mario Balotelli (suspended), and pleased the home crowds with a low shot at the target nine minutes after his substitution.

He finished the winner with four minutes remaining, concluding his magic play of the night.

Nice are currently ranked second with 59 points, leveling with superbly offensive Monaco, who will visit Guingamp on Saturday.

Also on Friday, Nantes downed Dijon 3-1 and ranked 11th with a six-point advantage in hand above the relegation zone in which the latter still struggle.