Olympique Lyon walked away disappointed with themselves following a narrow defeat against a spirited Montpellier side, while Nantes had the better of Stade Brestois to keep their continental hopes alive. Meanwhile, OGC Nice and LOSC Lille scripted wins over Metz and Saint Etienne respectively.
Nantes 4 - 2 Stade Brestois
Nantes had the better of Stade Brestois and registered a regulation win to keep their continental hopes alive in the weekend fixture. Brestois’ goal in the 4th minute was not a fluke, as was evident from the way the away team played in the remainder of the first half. Even though Nantes had their share, it was not enough to level the scores before the half-time whistle. Both the teams had a lot to talk about in the dugout, with the hosts in a spot of worry. The half-time talk did have a drastic impact on the hosts and it reflected in the scoreline when they restored parity just 8 minutes after the restart.
Nantes maintained the momentum and netted the second three minutes later to put the pressure back on Stade Brestois. The 69th-minute equalizer from the visitors was least expected but it did happen. Subsequently, Nantes took resort to the ultra-offensive route and was rewarded with the third goal in the 80th minute, followed by the fourth, just three minutes from full time. The hosts was by far the better team, with more shots on target, dangerous attacks and clocked more time per attack.
Metz 0 - 1 Nice
The contrasting campaign of both the sides was evident as Nice showed much intent en-route to their 1-0 victory over Metz in their fixture. Nice was arguably more active in their approach and it was visible in the first half itself, even though Metz also put up a spirited display simultaneously. Neither of the teams managed to use most of the opportunities and hence, no goals were scored in the first period of play.
Patrick Vieira's side started the second half in an offensive fashion and were rewarded for the changes in tactics, with them taking the lead in the 56th minute. The visitors kept Metz quiet for the most part of the second half and easily held onto the slender lead and bagged all three points on offer. Nice, by far the better side in the game, took as many as 14 shots on goal, while 4 of them were on target and converted 1 of them.
Olympique Lyon 0 -1 Montpellier
Olympique Lyon’s Europa league qualifications were dealt a monumental blow as they were defeated by Montpellier at home. This game is an example of how statistics don't always tell the truth, with the hosts outwitting Montpellier in each department, save the goals section, which is ironic.
The 43rd-minute strike from Montpellier was pretty much their best work, with they totally subdued for the remainder of the match. Overall, Lyon accounted for 63 attacks compared to the visitors 39, while the hosts spent 66% of the total time in dangerous attacks against Montpellier’s 34%. Lyon even spent more time per attack (17 seconds) than the winning side (14 seconds) and yet failed to walk away with all three points.
Saint Etienne 0 - 2 Lille
The difference in quality between both the teams was visible from the opening minutes of the game itself, with LOSC Lille taking charge of the game. The hosts did manage a couple of shots, but they would be kicking themselves for conceding a penalty in the 22nd minute, which fortunately for them, was missed by one of Lille’s players. The missed opportunity helped Saint Etienne keep the scores intact in the halfway mark.
The coach’s pep talk was evident, as was their desperation in the second half of the game. But, Saint Etienne's stubborn defense did not allow them to take the lead for a long time although they eventually gave in just 10 minutes from the final whistle. From there, the task was clear cut, keep the lead. Lille not only did that successfully but also added a second in the 88th minute to secure the game and all the three points on offer.