Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Strasbourg secure Ligue 1 status in late drama

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 12 May 2018

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Strasbourg secured Ligue 1 survival with a dramatic late 3-2 win over Lyon, who must now beat Nice to ensure qualification for next season’s Champions League.

A year on from completing rousing back-to-back promotions, Thierry Laurey’s Strasbourg were set to head into the final weekend of the campaign with their top-flight status in the balance.

Lyon star Nabil Fekir won and converted a penalty before Houssem Aouar was set up by Memphis Depay to overturn Stephane Bahoken’s 22nd-minute opener.

But Nuno Da Costa headed an 88th-minute equaliser before winning a free kick deep into stoppage time for Dimitri Lienard to send the Stade de la Mosson into raptures.

Lyon are consequently just one point above Europa League finalists Marseille in third ahead of the final round of fixtures.

Lebo Mothiba’s first-half double saw Lille past Dijon 2-1 and the upshot is Toulouse and Troyes are set to complete the bottom three alongside already-relegated Metz.

Toulouse, who took the lead before being thumped 4-2 at Bordeaux, occupy the relegation play-off spot but second-bottom Troyes closed to within a point as Karim Azamoum’s goal helped them to a 1-1 draw at Montpellier.

Caen were on the receiving end of a Mario Balotelli brace and went down 4-1 at Nice but only a Toulouse win over Guingamp combined with an eight-goal swing against Patrice Garande’s side can threaten their top-flight status.

Nice occupy the final Europa League qualifying spot and Rennes sealed a place in next season’s competition with a 2-0 win to take some of the edge off Paris Saint-Germain’s title party at the Parc des Princes.

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