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Lille stun Nantes with three-goal comeback

Paris (AFP) – Lille scored three quickfire second-half goals to comeback from two goals down  to snatch a vital win that kept them firm favourites for direct qualification for the Champions League.

Emiliano Sala’s former side Nantes had been finding goals hard to come by but went 2-0 up in front of a packed and raucous Stade de la Beaujoire thanks to a penalty from Valentin Eysseric and a near post header from Kalifa Coulibaly that seemed destined to drag them up to mid-table.

But three strikes in seven minutes from Rafael Leao, Nicolas Pepe from the spot and Jonathan Bamba’s fired Christophe Galtier’s gutsy outfit to an impressive turnaround.

There was still time for Nantes to be cast a lifeline with a late penalty, but Eysseric however sent his spot-kick flying over the bar.

Lille now have 60pts in second place, four ahead of third-placed Lyon, who occupy the final Champions League spot, and 12 ahead of Marseille in fourth. 

Runaway leaders Paris Saint-Germain play at Toulouse later.

Elsewhere Monaco suffered a shock home defeat to Caen, who climbed off the bottom of Ligue 1 thanks to a 1-0 win in which their goalkeeper the Congolese Brice Samba emerged as the hero.

It was Leonardo Jardim’s first defeat since returning to the helm eight games ago when Thierry Henry was fired.

“Were back in a relegation scrap,” Jardim lamented.

“This is a message to all of us to do better. We are only seven points clear of the drop zone and that’s nothing, just three matches,” he said.

Patrick Viera was a happy man after seeing his Nice said win 1-0 at Dijon, who slipped to bottom with this latest defeat.

“It’s great to get an away win, it’s been a while. Now we can dream of European qualification,” said Viera, whose side are seventh, four points away from a spot in the Europa League.

A late goal from Martin terrier saw Lyon win 1-0 at Rennes on Friday while an early brace from Mario Balotelli was cancelled out by two Thomas Mangani penalties on Saturday as Marseille drew 2-2 at home to Angers.

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