Monaco wins 2-0 at Clermont to pressure 3rd-place Lens


PARIS (AP) — Monaco won 2-0 at Clermont to extend its unbeaten run to seven matches and move two points behind third-place Lens, which plays Brest later on Sunday.

Early goals from central defender Guillermo Maripan and striker Breel Embolo allowed fourth-place Monaco to control the game. Coach Philippe Clement’s side is in good form heading into next Saturday’s home game against leader Paris Saint-Germain.

Maripan used his aerial ability to head in from Caio Henrique’s cross in the third minute. Ten minutes later Japan forward Takumi Minamino won the ball and fed Russia midfielder Aleksandr Golovin, whose pinpoint cross was headed in by the Swiss striker Embolo.

Strasbourg beat Montpellier 2-0 at home to move out of the relegation zone, with striker Habib Diallo scoring both goals.

Diallo netted after just 13 seconds from Dimitri Liénard’s cross and grabbed his second on the stroke of halftime, with the home side down to 10 men after Jean-Eudes Aholou’s red card in the 33rd.

Nantes won 2-0 at Corsican side Ajaccio with second-half goals from forward Evann Guessand and midfielder Ludovic Blas.

Rock-bottom Angers finally snapped its 13-game losing streak — a French league record — but could only draw 0-0 at Lorient.

English striker Folarin Balogun failed to add to his league-leading 14 goals but Reims extended its unbeaten run to 14 games with a 0-0 draw at 19th-place Auxerre, which had lost its seven previous games and kept a rare clean sheet.

Later Sunday, second-place Marseille needed to win at home to Nice to stay five points behind PSG.

Marseille fans were preparing to get a first glimpse of club-record signing Vitinha, a forward who joined from Portuguese side Braga for 32 million euros.

On Saturday, Lionel Messi’s second-half strike helped a lackluster PSG beat Toulouse 2-1.


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