Monaco see off Metz to take third in Ligue 1

Monaco's midfielder Rachid Ghezzal (R) shoots to score a goal against Metz on January 21, 2018 at the Louis II Stadium in Monaco
AFP

Paris (AFP) – Monaco eased to a 3-1 victory over ten-man Metz in the principality on Sunday to move into the third and final Champions League spot in Ligue 1.

Brazilian left-back Jorge opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time and Rachid Ghezzal added a second after visiting goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima was sent off.

Ibrahima Niane pulled one back for bottom club Metz, but Rony Lopes put any thoughts of a comeback to bed with a late tap-in.

Leonardo Jardim’s reigning French champions now sit a point clear of fourth-placed Lyon and 10 adrift of runaway leaders Paris Saint-Germain, who meet later on Sunday at Groupama Stadium.

The hosts struggled early on but broke the deadlock when Radamel Falcao sprung the offside trap to go clean through on goal, and although the Colombian’s shot was saved by Kawashima, Jorge was on hand to score.

Japanese keeper Kawashima was given his marching orders in the 50th minute for a reckless foul on Adama Diakhaby, before Ghezzal curled into the top corner to score only his second league goal since signing from Lyon last year.

Senegalese teenager Niane scored his first Ligue 1 goal for Metz, but Lopes turned in with nine minutes remaining after Fabinho’s trickery opened up space in the area.

Earlier on Sunday, Wylan Cyprien scored his first goal of the season to give Nice a 1-0 victory over struggling Saint-Etienne at the Allianz Riviera.

The 22-year-old, who was instrumental in Nice finishing third last season, only made his return from a serious knee injury earlier this month that had sidelined him since March.

The midfielder’s 23rd-minute goal saw Lucien Favre’s side respond to the disappointment of conceding a last-gasp equaliser at Monaco in midweek to move level on points with fifth-placed Nantes, while Saint-Etienne remain in deep trouble and just a point above the relegation play-off place.

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