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“French league”: Saint-Germain strengthens its lead… and Brest chases Nice

Defending champions Paris Saint-Germain strengthened their position at the top of the French Football League table with a 2-0 win over hosts Lens in their last-16 match on Sunday evening.

Bradley Barkola scored in the 30th minute and Kylian Mbappe scored in the 89th minute.

Saint-Germain raised their score in Ligue 1 to 43 points, eight ahead of second-placed Nice, benefiting from the latter's stumble at the hands of Rennes with a clean double on Saturday.

As for Lens, its score was frozen in eighth place at 26 points.

Mbappe extended Saint-Germain's lead with a second goal in the 89th minute (EBA).

It was Saint-Germain's third win in a row, including last Sunday's crushing 9-0 win over obscure rivals in the quarter-finals of the French Cup.

Barkola scored in the last match of the cup with a throw pass from the hat-trick scorer. He was alone with Lens goalkeeper Bryce Samba and scored in the 30th minute of the match.

Lens suffered a setback when their player Jonathan Greatest was sent off at the end of the first half after taking down Barkola and Saint-Germain receiving a straight red card for missing a clear goal-scoring opportunity.

Lens held on throughout the second half, but Mbappé refused to let his mark end the match, adding a second goal for the French champions with a through pass by Ousmane Dembélé.

Brest closes gap on second-placed Nice to one point (AFP)

“Brest is third», on the other hand, Brest rose to third place after defeating Montpellier 2-0.

After Monaco lost 1-3 to Reims on Saturday, Brest had the chance to advance, and goals from Hugo Magneti in the 48th minute and Jeremy Le Toiron in the second minute of stoppage time gave them a chance to finish third.

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Brest now has 34 points, one point ahead of Monaco in fourth place. This narrowed the gap with Nice II to one point.

It was Brest's tenth win of the season, compared to 4 losses and 4 draws.

On the other hand, Montpellier's score is frozen in twelfth place with 18 points.

Lille defeated their guests Lorient 3-0.

Canadian Jonathan David scored in the 37th minute, Lille scored twice through Remy Capela in the 90th minute and Kosovar Aiden Zegrova in the third minute.

It was the second successive win for Portuguese coach Paulo Fonseca's side at the start of the new year, after last week's impressive 12-0 win over drowned Golden Lyon in the round of 32 of the French Cup.

Lille increased his score to 31 points in fifth place.

On the other hand, Lorient, who are missing 13 players, including 7 due to ties to the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d'Ivoire, failed to return to winning ways as they picked up just two points. The last nine matches in the league and were eliminated from the cup by Sochaux (1-2), which took the place.Seventeenth final game with 12 points.

Seven-time French champions Lyon fail to move out of danger zone (AFP)

“A new downfall for Leon», a 12th-minute solo goal from Swiss Vincent Chiaro gave Toulouse a valuable win against Metz, who tried to stay out of the danger zone as they now sit in 14th place with 17 points, one point ahead of 15th-placed Metz. .

Clermont beat hosts Nantes 2-1.

Clermont raised its score to 14 points in last place, while Nantes' score froze at 18 points in thirteenth place.

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Seven-time French champions Lyon failed to climb out of the danger zone after falling 1-3 at the hands of hosts Le Havre.

The winner was scored by Gautier Lloris in the 18th minute, American Emmanuel Sabé in the 50th minute, Christopher Obi of Cote d'Ivoire in the 62nd minute and Alexandre Lacazette scored Lyon's only goal in the 54th minute.

Lyon's Irishman Jack O'Brien was sent off in the 30th minute and Croatia's Doje Kalita-Carr in the 90th minute.

Lyon's score froze at 16 points in sixteenth place, while Le Havre raised its score to 22 points in eleventh place.

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