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Olympique Lyonnais preserved their chances in the Ligue 1 title race by winning 2-1 against Nantes on Sunday night, while PSG came back one point behind leader in the standings, Lille, by beating in extremis Saint-Etienne 3-2.
Everything is still possible. At the end of the 33e Ligue 1 day, the four main contenders for the title are in a pocket square. The Olympique Lyonnais thus preserved its chances by winning 2-1, Sunday, April 18, on Nantes always closer to relegation, thanks to a magnificent double from Memphis Depay.
With 67 points, Rudy Garcia’s men remain in the wheel of the leading trio, three points from Lille, two points from PSG and one point from Monaco. They who had taken only one point in three matches (draws in Reims and Lens 1-1, defeat against Paris 2-4) thus confirmed their victory last week against Angers (3-0), already signed by Depay and Paqueta.
In a duel of extremes between undefeated Lyonnais in 15 away matches and Nantes fighting for maintenance and who have not won at home since October, the Gones gave a lesson in technique and efficiency to Nantes much more enterprising than usual but too often feverish.
Nantes coach Antoine Kombouaré warned his players: they were going to have to defend, run, suffer, round back and try to take advantage of the space to try to snatch a hold-up like their victory at the Parc des Princes in March (2 -1).
They have been running and hurrying as rarely these days, with an untenable Randal Kolo Muani, but without succeeding in being dangerous in the last 25 meters, like Kalifa Coulibaly, who, twice, presented himself alone. in the box after got rid of his defender … to stop and wait for support (9e and 32e).
Opposite, the Lyonnais were clinical in the first period, with Lucas Paqueta in charge. The Brazilian conductor first resisted a defensive return from Moses Simon to serve a completely unmarked Depay, who only had to push the ball with the outside of his foot into the small net (0- 1, 5e).
Then Paqueta launched Karl Toko Ekambi behind Charles Traoré on the right. Released late, Alban Lafont mowed down the Cameroonian striker and referee Benoît Bastien did not hesitate to designate the penalty spot. A punishment that Depay turned into force (0-2, 37e).
But while Lyon’s efficiency faltered in the second half, Nantes’ efforts were rewarded with a corner kick, Kolo Muani headed back and Anthony Lopes pushed the ball into the feet of Nicolas Pallois. The Nantes “rock”, which celebrated its 100e Ligue 1 match in Yellow and Green, reduced the right mark (1-2, 60e).
But that was not enough for the people of Nantes. Taped at the 19e place since March, now four points behind Lorient (17e) and three from Nîmes (18e and play-off), they have only five matches to snatch the maintenance: Strasbourg, Brest, Bordeaux, Dijon and Montpellier. “Teams in our championship” that the Canaries have the means to beat, Kombouaré assured this week.
PSG meanwhile won Sunday afternoon against the Greens of Saint-Étienne thanks to a double from Kylian Mbappé and a saving goal from Mauro Icardi. The Parisians not only ended their worst series since 2007 at home in L1 (3 defeats in a row) but also achieved a good accounting operation, coming back to a short length behind Losc (1er, 70 pts), frustrated by Montpellier on Friday opening the weekend (1-1).