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Leagues: Ligue Un

Nice lay down Delort in Champions League quest


Paris (AFP) – Andy Delort headed in a late winner as Nice beat Lorient 2-1 in Ligue 1 on Sunday to revive their hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

Delort had put Nice in front with a penalty early in the second half on the Cote d’Azur after Khephren Thuram had been fouled, but Armand Lauriente quickly equalised for relegation-threatened Lorient.

However, with the game heading for a draw, substitute Kasper Dolberg picked out Delort with a sublime cross in the 88th minute and he headed in his 10th Ligue 1 goal for Nice to secure the victory.

Nice had gone four games without a win to slide from second place down to outside the European qualifying spots altogether before this encounter.

Champions League football is the aim for a club with lofty ambitions under their owners Ineos, the group chaired by British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe.

The victory moves them back to within a point of third-placed Rennes, who lost 3-2 at home to Monaco on Friday.

Only the top two in France qualify automatically for the Champions League, with third place going into the qualifying rounds.

The top two in Ligue 1 meet later on Sunday as leaders Paris Saint-Germain play host to bitter rivals Marseille.

PSG are 12 points clear at the top with seven games left and a victory against Marseille would give them a chance to secure an eighth league title in 10 seasons as early as Wednesday.

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