Valentin Eysseric scored a late equaliser for Nice as they battled back from two goals down to salvage a 2-2 draw at Stade Rennes on Sunday but it was not enough to prevent the title hopefuls losing ground on Ligue 1 leaders Monaco.
Eysseric broke past the home side’s defence in the 81st minute and sped away before finishing calmly past Benoit Costil to rescue a point. Substitute Anastasios Donis had halved the deficit in the 59th minute with a sharp finish.
Morgan Amalfitano had fired Rennes ahead against nervy Nice in the seventh minute with a superb chipped effort before Giovanni Sio doubled the hosts’ advantage 14 minutes later after narrowly beating the offside trap.
“At halftime, we told ourselves that nothing is impossible,” Nice coach Lucien Favre told reporters. “We knew that one goal would be enough to get back on track.”
Nice have won only twice in their last eight matches in all competitions and remain third on 53 points, two off second-placed Paris St Germain and five behind leaders Monaco, who thumped Metz 5-0 on Saturday.
“In terms of the table, I’m not worried about other clubs,” Favre added. “I only wish for my team to do the best possible.”
Elsewhere, St Etienne retained fifth spot after thumping bottom club FC Lorient 4-0 at home, while Nantes jumped five places to 12th as two goals inside the first 20 minutes set them up for a 3-2 home win over sixth-placed Marseille.
Sunday, February 12
Nantes 3 Diego Carlos 12, Mariusz Stepinski 20, Adrien Thomasson 50
Olympique Marseille 2 Bafetimbi Gomis 49,61
St Etienne 4 Loic Perrin 18, Jordan Veretout 20, Romain Hamouma 58, Jorginho 90+1
FC Lorient 0
Stade Rennes 2 Morgan Amalfitano 7, Giovanni Sio 21
Nice 2 Anastasios Donis 59, Valentin Eysseric 81
Halftime: 2-0;Attendance: 25,665
Saturday, February 11
Lille 1 Yves Bissouma 27
Angers SCO 2 Pierrick Capelle 20, Romain Thomas 59
Dijon FCO 2 Mehdi Abeid 40, Lois Diony 86
Halftime: 1-0;Attendance: 9,614
AS Nancy-Lorraine 0
Montpellier HSC 3 Isaac Mbenza 10,60, Steve Mounie 19
Toulouse 4 Andy Delort 38, Martin Braithwaite 43,76pen, Issa Diop 86
Bastia 1 Prince Oniangue 53
Monaco 5 Kylian Mbappe 7,20,50, Radamel Falcao 10,55
En Avant de Guingamp 2 Mustapha Diallo 30, Nicolas Benezet 34
Olympique Lyon 1 Alexandre Lacazette 10
Friday, February 10
Girondins Bordeaux 0
Paris St Germain 3 Edinson Cavani 6,47, Angel Di Maria 40