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Monaco retains French league lead after beating Metz

Aleksandr Golovin Aleksandr Golovin Monaco - The Canadian Press

PARIS (AP) — Aleksandr Golovin unleashed two powerful long-range strikes to help Monaco retain the lead in the French league by rallying past promoted Metz 2-1 on Sunday.

Monaco, the most prolific attack in the league this season, is one point clear of Nice and two points ahead of defending champion Paris Saint-Germain after the latest round of matches.

Senegal international Lamine Camara gave Metz the lead with an outrageous 58-meter lob from his own half in the fourth minute. Golovin leveled in the 42nd by cutting inside to fire into the far corner.

Metz had an opportunity to lead 2-1 in the 49th but Monaco goalkeeper Philipp Kohn denied Danley Jean Jacques, who was clean through on goal.

Golovin scored the winner with a curling free kick off the near post in the 55th.

“I’m happy that my team is able to turn around the game because we’ve picked up 11 points that way since the start of the season,” Monaco coach Adi Hutter told the club’s website.

Metz goalkeeper Alexandre Oukidja kept the scoreline respectable by saving a low strike from Takumi Minamino in the 63rd and an angled shot from Folarin Balogun in the 69th.

Metz lost a fourth straight game to fall into the relegation zone.

Also Sunday, Warmed Omari endured a nightmarish afternoon, scoring an own-goal and giving the ball away for the other, as Rennes lost ground in the race for European spots after a 2-1 defeat at Lorient.

Lorient snapped a five-game winless streak to move out of the relegation zone while Rennes dropped to ninth place with just one win in its last eight games.

“Our start to the season is not at the level that we expected,” Rennes coach Bruno Genesio told Amazon Prime Video. “It’s only the ninth round, we shouldn’t draw definitive conclusions, but we will have to fix a lot of things, for sure, if we want to catch up with the top teams.”

Omari turned a cross from Lorient forward Aiyegun Tosin into his own net in the fourth minute. Omari’s clearance initially bounced off the post, but the Rennes center back couldn’t sort out his feet and bundled the rebound over the goal line.

Rennes midfielder Ludovic Blas equalized in the 21st with a low strike into the far corner.

But on the stroke of halftime, Omari failed to clear the danger, chesting the ball into the path of Isaak Toure, who beat goalkeeper Steve Mandanda from close range.

Omari was replaced at halftime by Christopher Wooh.

Rennes missed Belgium international Arthur Theate, who is the leader of the backline, because of a calf problem.

Rennes finished fourth in the last campaign but could struggle to replicate that form this season after failing to sign a defender in the summer.

Elsewhere, Lille climbed to fourth place by beating Brest 1-0 with a goal from Turkey international Yusuf Yazici in the sixth minute.

Reims slipped to sixth after drawing with mid-table Toulouse 1-1. Amir Richardson put Reims ahead with a sliding effort in the 48th, but Toulouse striker Thijs Dallinga equalized with a downward header in the 51st.

Nantes earned a fourth win in its last five games to go level on points with Reims by downing Montpellier 2-0 with goals from Florent Mollet in the 44th and Kader Bamba in the 74th.

In a clash between the bottom two sides, Clermont earned its first win of the season by beating Lyon 2-1. Lyon dropped to last place in the 18-team league.


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