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Leagues: Ligue Un

Monaco surge towards Europe with fifth straight win

Paris (AFP) – Monaco beat local rivals Nice 1-0 on Wednesday as the resurgent principality side claimed a fifth straight win and moved above their neighbours in the fight for European qualification in Ligue 1.

Russia’s Aleksandr Golovin scored the only goal of the game in first-half stoppage time in the Cote d’Azur derby, turning in the loose ball after goalkeeper Walter Benitez had failed to hold Vanderson’s low centre.

Monaco were eight points behind Nice at the end of February but have since found form with six wins in seven league outings to move from mid-table and provisionally into fourth position.

Ambitious Nice, owned by British group Ineos, had appeared set for Champions League qualification after beating Paris Saint-Germain in early March but a run of one win in six since then has jeopardised their European prospects.

Only the top three in Ligue 1 qualify for the Champions League with fourth going into the Europa League and fifth into the Europa Conference League.

PSG could clinch their eighth Ligue 1 title in 10 years later on Wednesday as they play away to Angers without the injured Lionel Messi and the suspended Neymar.

To do so they are relying on a slip-up by Marseille, who lie 15 points adrift in second place with six games left.

If Marseille fail to win at home to Nantes, then Mauricio Pochettino’s side will be confirmed as champions by bettering the result of their nearest challengers.

Meanwhile six-time champions Bordeaux remain in serious danger of being relegated to Ligue 2 after throwing away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at home to Saint-Etienne.

The result means Bordeaux are 19th, four points and one place behind Saint-Etienne who sit in the releagation play-off spot.

Clermont climbed above the latter and out of the relegation zone altogether by winning 1-0 at Troyes.

Bottom side Metz are eight points from outright safety after losing 1-0 at Lorient while outgoing champions Lille lost 2-1 at Reims, a result that probably signals the end of their European prospects.

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