Montpellier beats struggling Monaco 2-1 to take 2nd place
PARIS (AP) — Montpellier scored two late goals to win at Thierry Henry’s struggling Monaco 2-1 and move up to second place in the French league on Saturday.
Strikers Gaetan Laborde and Petar Skuletic netted in the last 10 minutes after Belgium midfielder Youri Tielemans gave 19th-place Monaco the lead shortly before halftime. Montpellier moved above Lyon on goal difference, while Monaco remained only two points ahead of last-placed Guingamp.
Earlier, Lyon rallied from 2-0 down to draw at Lille 2-2 to extend its unbeaten run to nine games in all competitions.
In an exciting match, Lille dominated the first half and scored through strikers Loic Remy and Nicolas Pepe.
After missing a second-half penalty, Lyon equalized with goals from forwards Bertrand Traore and Moussa Dembele.
Lille almost won at the end but Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes made a stunning one-handed save from Pepe’s powerful shot.
Lyon is unbeaten in the Champions League and impressed going forward in a 2-2 home draw with Manchester City this week. Lyon’s young midfielders Tanguy Ndombele (21 years old) and Housse Aouar (20) received high praise from City coach Pep Guardiola for their performances in that game.
But they were just as ineffective as their teammates in the first half.
The former Chelsea striker Remy volleyed in neatly from Mehmet Celik’s cross from the right to put Lille ahead after 17 minutes and the second goal came in the 28th after Aouar lost the ball in midfield. Remy then set up Pepe for his ninth league goal of the season. With Lyon reeling, Lille forward Jonathan Ikone hit the post on the stroke of halftime.
Memphis Depay struck a penalty over the crossbar, but then expertly set up Traore with a back-heeled pass in the 63rd. Depay then hit the crossbar 10 minutes from time before Traore expertly flicked the ball on for Demble to stroke home.
Patrick Vieira’s Nice side was in seventh place after keeping a fifth straight clean sheet in a 0-0 draw at Guingamp.
Striker Rachid Alioui scored twice as promoted Nimes won at home to Amiens 3-0, and Angers drew at home to Caen 1-1.
Runaway leader Paris Saint-Germain, which beat Liverpool 2-1 in the Champions League on Wednesday, is looking for a 15th straight league win when it plays at Bordeaux.
In other matches, sixth-place Marseille hosts ninth-place Reims; Rennes takes on Strasbourg, and Toulouse faces Dijon.