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Rennes edges Le Havre for fifth straight win

Rennes celebrates Rennes - Getty Images

PARIS (AP) — Denis Zakaria scored twice as Monaco shook off a poor run of form by beating 10-man Nice 3-2 to move into third place in the French league on Sunday.

Aleksandr Golovin scored the winning goal for a Monaco side that was under pressure after it got knocked out by third-tier Rouen in the last 16 of the French Cup on Thursday and failed to win any of its three previous league games.

Nice center back Dante received a red card after a video review showed that he planted his studs into Takumi Minamino’s left shin with his follow through in the 52nd minute.

In a heated French Riviera derby, Zakaria opened the scoring in the 16th by picking his spot from 28 yards to fire into the top corner.

Nice forward Gaetan Laborde leveled with a penalty in the 37th after Thilo Kehrer had brought down Tom Louchet.

Zakaria restored Monaco’s lead by heading a cross from Minamino into the bottom corner in the 50th.

But a resilient Nice rallied again in the 74th when Evann Guessand outjumped the Monaco defense to head in a corner.

Three minutes later, Golovin shattered the hopes of second-place Nice by converting a rebound after goalkeeper Marcin Bulka had denied Ismail Jakobs.

Also Sunday, Rennes won its fifth straight game by edging Le Havre 1-0 to boost its bid for a Champions League spot.

Midfielder Benjamin Bourigeaud scored the winning goal in the 60th by firing a half-volley through the legs of goalkeeper Arthur Desmas as Rennes moved within six points of the top four.

Fortunes have changed quickly for Rennes, which was just one point above the relegation playoff spot in November when the club dismissed Bruno Genesio to hire Julien Stephan.

The result sees Rennes leapfrog Marseille into seventh place while Le Havre stayed 11th.

Bottom side Clermont held Brest 1-1, which slipped to fourth place. Brest took the lead with a long-range effort from Pierre Lees-Melou in the 50th. But Grejohn Kyei equalized with a powerful header in the 69th. Both teams were down to 10 men in the 88th when Brest goalkeeper Marco Bizot and Clermont winger Elbasan Rashani were sent off for repeatedly shoving each other.

Lorient boosted its safety hopes by beating midtable Reims 2-0 with second-half goals from Ivory Coast forward Mohamed Bamba and Tiemoue Bakayoko. Signed from Austrian club Wolfsberger during the winter transfer window, Bamba scored his third goal in as many games.

Lyon rallied past Montpellier 2-1 to climb to 13th place, level on points with Nantes. Alexandre Lacazette equalized in the 74th for his 11th league goal this season before Maxence Caqueret scored the winner with an 18-yard shot off the bar in the 82nd.

“We raised the intensity and were better in the second half,” Caqueret told Canal Plus television. “It’s especially the mentality that has changed. We feel a real squad that wants to go up in the standings.”

Egypt striker Mostafa Mohamed had a goal and assist to help Nantes snap a six-game winless run with a 2-1 victory over Toulouse.

Paris Saint-Germain beat Lille 3-1 on Saturday to extend its lead at the top of the league to 11 points.


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