Nice and Marseille stumble in France

PARIS (AP) – Nice squandered a chance to claim second place in the French league by succumbing 1-0 at home to Montpellier on Sunday.

Florent Mollet scored in the 80th minute to give the victory to Montpellier, sixth in the table.

It was enough for Nice to draw to displace Lens on better goal difference, but they were stuck in third place. Beats Olympique de Marseille, fourth in the standings, on goal difference.

The defeat left leader Paris Saint-Germain with a 10-point difference over their immediate pursuer.

Marseille were unable to capitalize when bottom side Metz was outnumbered in the second half and ended up settling for a 0-0 draw.

By including spare time, Marseille played one more man for more than 40 minutes after Metz’s Brazilian central defender Jemerson was sent off at 56.

Brazilian midfielder Gerson scored two minutes for Marseille, but his shot from close range was disallowed when video refereeing confirmed a foul had been committed on defender Dylan Bronn.

The kickoff at 1 in the afternoon was counterproductive for Argentine coach Jorge Sampaoli’s team, who had just played in the Europa League on Thursday night.

On Saturday, PSG consolidated their lead with a 3-2 away win against Bordeaux, although they ended up suffering with a pair of late goals after taking a 3-0 lead.

At the end of the Sunday day, the fifth Rennes thrashed 4-1 at the seventh Lyon.

In addition, Saint-Etienne came back from an adverse 0-2 and defeated the newly promoted Clermont 3-2. Saint-Etienne’s first win in 13 matches saw them off the bottom of the table, while Metz sank in last place.

Other results: Reims 0, Monaco 0; Lorient 1, Brest 2; and Nantes 2, Strasbourg 2.

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