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Brest wins again to strengthen second place in Champions League quest

Pierre Lees-Melou Brest Pierre Lees-Melou - FRED TANNEAU/AFP via Getty Images

PARIS (AP) — French league surprise front-runner Brest continued its remarkable march toward the Champions League on Sunday, securing a 1-0 home win against Le Havre to move four points clear in second place with 10 rounds remaining.

Influential midfielder Pierre Lees-Melou's 34th-minute goal was enough to settle a close match. He finished with a powerful first-time shot from Mathias Pereira Lage's cross as Brest took advantage of third-place Monaco drawing 0-0 at home to Paris Saint-Germain on Friday.

Defending champion PSG is nine points clear of Brest and appears out of sight.

But Brest's focus is on qualifying for Europe's elite club competition for the first time, having one of the league's smallest budgets and never previously finishing higher than eighth place.

Nice missed the chance to reclaim fourth spot when it lost 2-1 at Toulouse.

Nigeria striker Terem Moffi put Nice ahead early on from Evann Guessand's cross.

But Toulouse forwards Thijs Dallinga and Yann Gboho scored in quick succession midway through the second half.

Elsewhere, Lens won 3-0 at Lyon to move up one spot to sixth.

After Lyon twice went close, Florian Sotoca headed Lens ahead from a corner in the 42nd. Strike partner Elye Wahi made it 2-0 from the penalty spot shortly after the break.

Lyon finished with 10 players when right back Ainsley Maitland-Niles was sent off in the 85th, and Lens grabbed a third goal with defender Kevin Danso's diving header.

Rennes lost 2-1 at home to struggling Lorient in the Brittany derby.

Striker Mohamed Bamba scored early in the second half and 17-year-old substitute Eli Junior Kroupi added a late goal as Lorient climbed to 13th place. Algeria forward Amine Gouiri scored an injury-time consolation for eighth-place Rennes.

Forward Arnaud Nordin scored both goals for Montpellier in a 2-2 home draw with Strasbourg, and Metz picked up a valuable 2-0 win at Nantes.


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