Nice romped to a 3-0 home victory over second-placed Lyon on Friday to move up to third in Ligue 1.
Lyon had picked up 13 points from their last five matches prior to the international break, but their defence was powerless against Claude Puel’s side, who produced an impressive display.
The match, which was preceded by a minute’s silence and a rendition of the French national anthem following last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris, almost took a different path.
Alexandre Lacazette, fresh from scoring a hat-trick against Saint-Etienne last time out, hit the post with an early effort after being found by Claudio Beauvue.
But Nice took the lead after 20 minutes and never looked back. Jean Seri set up Valere Germain, who made no mistake with a slick touch and finish to cap an excellent passing move.
The second goal came in avoidable circumstances three minutes after half-time when Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa slid in to divert Jeremy Pied’s cross – which appeared to be rolling harmlessly towards goalkeeper Anthony Lopes – into his own net.
Seri and Pied were both involved in the build-up for Nice’s third with 19 minutes remaining as Vincent Koziello smashed high into the net with the away defence completely exposed.
Mathieu Valbuena started the game and played for 76 minutes after a day which had seen him earlier giving evidence at a court in Versailles relating to the alleged sex-tape plot he has been the victim of.
The heavy defeat means Lyon stay 10 points adrift of leaders Paris Saint-German, who have the chance to extend their lead at the top when they play away to Lorient on Saturday. Nice are now just one point behind Hubert Fournier’s men in the standings.
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