Monaco slumps to 2nd consecutive loss in French league
PARIS (AP) Monaco’s season took another turn for the worse when the defending champions slumped to a 1-0 loss at Nantes in the French league on Wednesday.
Monaco, which lost 2-1 to leader Paris Saint-Germain last weekend and is already out of the Champions League, was again a shadow of the team that reached the semifinals of Europe’s top competition last season.
The visitors lacked imagination and had just one shot on target as their winless streak extended to four games in all competitions.
Leonardo Jardim’s players looked to be heading for a disappointing draw but failed to bring a point back from their trip to western France after Brazilian substitute Lucas Lima scored in stoppage time. Diego Carlos fired a free kick straight into Monaco’s wall, the ball took a deflection and landed in the path of Lima, who slotted home with a powerful strike.
Monaco sold several players over the summer and had to cope with the departure of striker Kylian Mbappe to PSG. Midfielder Bernardo Silva, left back Benjamin Meny and defensive midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko were among the others to leave, and Jardim has yet to find a new winning formula.
Monaco dropped to fourth place, nine points behind PSG, while Nantes moved within three points of the Top 3. PSG later hosted Troyes at the Parc des Princes.
MARSEILLE ON THE UP
Florian Thauvin scored one goal and created another as Marseille won 3-0 at struggling Metz, extending its unbeaten run to 10 league matches and climbing to second place in the standings.
It has been a remarkable turnaround for the nine-time champion, which seemed set for a club crisis in August after being thrashed 6-1 by Monaco and losing 3-1 at home to Rennes, a defeat that provoked the ire of the club’s notoriously demanding fans.
Midfielder Luiz Gustavo and Thauvin have been key elements of Rudi Garcia’s team in recent weeks and were decisive again in Metz.
Thauvin, who has scored seven goals and provided five assists this season, put the visitors ahead in the 18th minute with a beautiful solo goal. The France international sped down the right flank then cut inside and unleashed a left-foot shot in the top right corner.
Thauvin then turned provider in the 36th when he crossed to Gustavo at the far post for the Brazilian player to score with a neat finish. Lucas Ocampos completed the victory in the 72nd minute.
LYON UPSET BY STRUGGLING LILLE
Struggling Lille made the most of Lyon’s defensive frailties to earn a 2-1 victory, its fourth win this season.
Nabil Fekir missed a penalty for the hosts.
Without a coach following Marcelo Bielsa’s dismissal, Lille ended Lyon’s eight-match unbeaten run in the league with goals from Thiago Mendes and Ezequiel Ponce. Mendes and Ponce were helped by slack defending on both goals.
Mariano Diaz scored an equalizer for Lyon.
Montpellier, which has the league’s best defense with eight goals conceded, produced another clean sheet in a 0-0 draw at Guingamp, Rennes won 2-1 at Angers and Mario Balotelli scored from the spot as Nice prevailed 2-1 at Toulouse despite Dante’s sending off in the first half. Bassem Srarfi came off the bench to snatch the winner in added time.