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Kluivert goal gives Nice win over Angers

Paris (AFP) – Justin Kluivert scored as Nice won 1-0 at home to Angers in Ligue 1 on Sunday to stay on course for Champions League football next season.

The Dutch winger’s smart finish on 19 minutes was his third goal in as many games and pushed Nice to within a point of second-placed Marseille, who host Clermont later.

Nice had lost their past two league games to allow Strasbourg to close the gap on the top three but put an end to their slide despite Khephren Thuram and Andy Delort having goals ruled out by VAR.

“We wanted to start the match strongly and try to score quickly,” said Delort.

“It’s a shame the two goals were disallowed because we wanted to put the match to bed, but I think we controlled it from start to finish.”

Christophe Galtier’s side visit Strasbourg next weekend and then play fourth-tier Versailles in the semi-finals of the French Cup on March 1.

Strasbourg, whose only European Cup appearance came when they reached the quarter-finals in 1979-80, lost ground on Nice after a 2-2 draw at Saint-Etienne.

Ryad Boudebouz gave Saint-Etienne an early lead but Strasbourg struck twice through Habib Diallo and Lucas Perrin before Wahbi Khazri’s equaliser earned the hosts a point.

“We keep the points tally ticking over with one more. The dynamic is very positive with 16 points from 21 since the start of 2022,” said Strasbourg coach Julien Stephan.

“We won’t be favourites against Nice because we weren’t expected to be where we are in the standings unlike them.”

Rennes are two points behind Strasbourg following a 4-1 win over Troyes, while Bordeaux drew 1-1 against Monaco in David Guion’s first game in charge.

Remi Oudin opened the scoring for Bordeaux, who played almost an hour with an extra man after Aurelien Tchouameni’s red card, but an own goal by Marcelo denied them victory.

Montpellier won 1-0 at Lorient and Reims drew 1-1 with Brest.

Paris Saint-Germain are 13 points clear at the top but lost 3-1 to Nantes on Saturday, just their second defeat of the campaign.

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