Bertrand Traore grabbed a vital goal as Lyon look to claw their way back into Champions League contention
Paris (AFP) - Lyon halted a run of six matches without a win in Ligue 1 with a 1-0 victory over Caen on Sunday, while Alassane Plea scored four goals for Nice in a 5-2 rout of Guingamp.
Former Chelsea forward Bertrand Traore swept home the winner on 63 minutes for Lyon, as Bruno Genesio’s team avenged last week’s French Cup quarter-final exit at the hands of Caen.
Lyon were without a league win since their 2-1 defeat of Paris Saint-Germain on January 21, and hit the post through Ferland Mendy early in the second half before the woodwork then denied Caen’s Enzo Crivelli.
Traore notched his seventh goal of the season when a Mendy cross ricocheted off two Caen players and into his path, allowing the Burkina Faso international to convert from near the penalty spot.
The result revives Lyon’s faltering pursuit of a Champions League spot, pulling them to within two points of third-placed Marseille, who travel to Toulouse later on Sunday.
However, Lyon must do without captain and leading scorer Nabil Fekir for another three weeks as the France forward continues his recovery from a knee injury.
“Fekir still felt discomfort in his right knee when he returned to training (on Saturday),” Lyon said in a statement, with the 24-year-old sidelined since the 1-1 derby draw with Saint-Etienne on February 25.
He is expected to undergo keyhole surgery on Tuesday, on the same knee that forced Fekir to miss the majority of the 2015-16 season, but Lyon hope he will return at the end of this month.
“It’s a big blow for us and for him. He’s suffered a lot from injuries in the past,” said Genesio. “There’s another way to see things though, namely that he is going to come back in great shape after the international break.”
Nice strengthened their case for another European adventure next season as Plea made the Mediterranean club forget about the absence of the injured Mario Balotelli.
Former Lyon midfielder Clement Grenier tucked away a ninth-minute penalty for Guingamp – his first goal since April 2016 – but Plea levelled and struck twice more before the hour mark.
An own goal on 83 minutes from on-loan Barcelona centre-back Marlon gave Guingamp a lifeline, but Bassem Srarfi promptly made it 4-2 before Plea netted his fourth of the game in stoppage time.
PSG restored their 14-point lead over Monaco at the top of the table on Saturday with a resounding 5-0 win over bottom side Metz to ease some of the pain of their Champions League disappointment against Real Madrid.
Second-placed Monaco won 3-1 at Strasbourg on Friday with Stevan Jovetic, Rony Lopes and Fabinho getting their goals.