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Nice lose unbeaten record as Lens inflict maore pain on Lyon

AFP
Monday, Dec 04, 2023

PARIS: Nice slumped to their first defeat of the season on Saturday as they lost 1-0 at Nantes and missed the chance to reclaim top spot in Ligue 1.

Florent Mollet´s first-half strike was enough to get new coach Jocelyn Gourvennec off to a winning start at the Stade de la Beaujoire, where he took over from Pierre Aristouy this week. Nice had gone eight games without conceding since their 3-2 victory over Paris Saint-Germain in mid-September, but the visitors saw their unbeaten start ended after they fell behind in a match for the first time this season.

“It´s a logical defeat,” said Nice coach Francesco Farioli. “We need to move on from it. This loss definitely hurts. But, like with our wins, we need to forget about this defeat. “We had chances to take the lead or equalise. We came up against a goalkeeper on top form,” he added.

Nice´s defeat will allow leaders PSG to pull four points clear if they win at Le Havre on Sunday. Lens shook off their midweek Champions League humiliation by Arsenal to condemn crisis-hit Lyon to a 3-2 defeat in the club´s first match since the exit of coach Fabio Grosso.

Irish defender Jake O´Brien volleyed Lyon in front from a corner at Stade Bollaert in northern France, but last season´s Ligue 1 runners-up levelled midway through the first half courtesy of Wesley Said. Przemyslaw Frankowski put Lens ahead with a penalty early in the second half before O´Brien poked home a flick-on at another corner to equalise.