Monaco scores late and moves into 2nd place in French league
PARIS (AP) — Monaco scored an injury-time penalty to beat Saint-Etienne 1-0 at home and move into second place in the French league on Saturday.
Brazilian defender Fabinho coolly slotted home the spot kick after attacking midfielder Thomas Lemar was fouled by right back Mathieu Debuchy.
The win moved deposed champion Monaco two points above Lyon in the chase for an automatic Champions League place.
Lyon is one point ahead of fourth-place Marseille ahead of next weekend’s final round.
Lyon looked set to hold onto second spot after leading Strasbourg 2-1, thanks to goals from forward Nabil Fekir and midfielder Houssem Aouar.
But Strasbourg hit back late on, with striker Nuno Da Costa equalizing in the 88th and midfielder Dimitri Lienard whipping in a powerful free kick in the fourth minute of injury time to ensure the Alsace-based side’s survival in Ligue 1.
It is also close at the bottom of the table.
Lille ensured its survival as South Africa striker Lebo Mothiba scored both goals in a 2-1 home win against Dijon.
But Toulouse and Troyes are still in contention to finish 18th to contest a playoff with the team placing third in the second division.
Toulouse, which is in 18th, lost at Bordeaux 4-2, while 19th-place Troyes missed a glaring chance in injury time and drew at Montpellier 1-1.
Since wrapping up the title with a few games to spare, Paris Saint-Germain’s form has nose-dived.
PSG lost at home to Rennes 2-0 and has picked up only two points from the past three games.
Midfielders Benjamin Bourigeaud and Adrien Hunou scored against a listless PSG as Rennes kept fifth place in the scrap for a place in the Europa League.
Rennes remained three points ahead of sixth-place Nice, which easily beat Caen 4-1.
Italian striker Mario Balotelli scored twice inside the first 10 minutes for Nice — including a twice-taken penalty — and set up the third goal for winger Allan Saint-Maximin. Balotelli, who has netted 18 league goals, is expected to join another club next season and was given a rousing ovation.
In other games, it was: Amiens 2, Metz 0 and Angers 0, Nantes 2.
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Jerome Pugmire on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jeromepugmire