Nantes (AFP)

Olympique Lyonnais preserved their chances in the title race by winning 2-1 over Nantes who are still closer to relegation, thanks to a brace from Memphis Depay and a demonstration by Lucas Paqueta on Sunday at the end of the 33rd Ligue 1 day.

With 67 points, Rudy Garcia's men remain in the wheel of the leading trio, three points from Lille, two points from PSG and one point from Monaco.

They who had taken only one point in three matches (draws in Reims and Lens 1-1, defeat against Paris 2-4) thus confirmed their victory last week against Angers (3-0), already signed by Depay and Paqueta.

In a duel of extremes between undefeated Lyonnais in 15 away matches and Nantes fighting for maintenance and who have not won at home since October, the Gones gave a lesson in technique and efficiency to Nantes much more enterprising than usual but too often feverish.

Nantes coach Antoine Kombouaré warned his players: they were going to have to defend, run, suffer, round back and try to take advantage of the space to try to snatch a hold-up like their victory at the Parc des Princes in March (2 -1).

They have run and rushed as rarely in recent times, with an untenable Randal Kolo Muani, but without succeeding in being dangerous in the last 25 meters, like Kalifa Coulibaly, who twice ran alone in the race. surface after got rid of its defender ... to stop and wait for support (9th and 32nd).

- Baguette packet -

Opposite, the Lyonnais were clinical in the first period, with Lucas Paqueta in charge.

The Brazilian conductor first resisted a defensive return from Moses Simon to serve a completely unmarked Depay, who only had to push the ball with the outside of his foot into the small net (0- 1, 5e).

Then Paqueta launched Karl Toko Ekambi behind Charles Traoré on the right.

Released late, Alban Lafont mowed down the Cameroonian striker and referee Benoît Bastien did not hesitate to designate the penalty spot.

A punishment that Depay transformed into strength (0-2, 37th).

But while Lyon's efficiency faltered in the second half, Nantes' efforts were rewarded with a corner kick, Kolo Muani headed back and Anthony Lopes pushed the ball into the feet of Nicolas Pallois.

The Nantes "rock", who celebrated Sunday his 100th Ligue 1 match in Yellow and Green, reduced the mark of the right (1-2, 60th).

But that was not enough for the people of Nantes.

Stuck in 19th place since March, now four points behind Lorient (17th) and three from Nîmes (18th and play-off), they have only five matches to snatch the maintenance: Strasbourg, Brest, Bordeaux, Dijon and Montpellier.

"Teams in our championship" that the Canaries have the means to beat, Kombouaré assured this week.

© 2021 AFP