Despite midfielder Dirar sent off early in 2nd half, Monaco beats local rival Nice 1-0 to keep hold of 2nd place in French league



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PARIS — Ten-man Monaco overcame a sending off early in the second half to beat local rival Nice 1-0 and remain in second place in the French league on Saturday.

Nice would have overtaken Monaco on goal difference if it had won the French Riviera derby, but failed to take advantage after Monaco midfielder Nabil Dirar was sent off in the 47th minute after two yellow cards in quick succession.

Instead, the red card inspired Monaco, and midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko headed in a free kick from Joao Moutinho in the 81st to seal a hard-fought win.

Monaco remains a massive 21 points behind runaway leader Paris Saint-Germain, which plays at bitter rival Marseille on Sunday.

Lyon won at Angers 3-0 to move up to fifth place, one point behind Angers.

Right back Christophe Jallet gave Lyon the lead early with a powerful shot from the edge of the penalty area following a poor clearance.

Moments later, Angers midfielder Thomas Mangani was shown a straight red card for a crude challenge on Lyon midfielder Corentin Tolisso, and the visitors took complete control.

Shortly after the break, midfielder Rachid Ghezzal made it 2-0 after France winger Mathieu Valbuena and Jallet set him up.

Valbuena then did well to find space inside the area and pick out Tolisso for the third goal.

Elsewhere, Nantes moved provisionally up to sixth spot after drawing 0-0 at Toulouse, which is languishing in 19th spot; but Normandy side Caen dropped to eighth after losing at home to Reims 2-0.

Corsica side Bastia beat last-place Troyes 2-0 to move closer to mid-table security, and in the other games, fellow Corsican side Gazelec Ajaccio drew at home with Guingamp 0-0, and Montpellier drew at Lorient 1-1.

In Sunday's other games, Lille faces Rennes, and Bordeaux meets Saint-Etienne.

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