Nice has only French league title to focus on after cup exit

AP Photo/Claude Paris

PARIS (AP) French league leader Nice has only the title race to focus on for the rest of the season after going out of the French Cup on Sunday.

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Nice lost 2-1 away to Lorient, which is last in the first division, despite taking the lead through top scorer Alassane Plea near the end of the first half.

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Lorient equalized with a fine individual goal from former Arsenal forward Jeremie Aliadiere in the 71st minute, and Algerian midfielder Walid Mesloub’s winner shortly after sent Lorient into the fourth round.

Nice is also out of the League Cup and the Europa League, while its title rivals Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain are still involved in all three domestic competitions and the Champions League.

That could work to Nice’s advantage. The league resumes next weekend, with Nice two points ahead of Monaco and five clear of PSG.

Meanwhile, winger Remy Cabella scored his second goal of the game in extra time as Marseille continued its fine form with a 2-1 win away to first division rival Toulouse.

Marseille is thriving under coach Rudi Garcia and has lost only one of the last seven games.

First division Metz lost 2-0 at Lens – which is chasing promotion from the second division – but all other first division sides advanced.

Brazilian striker Malcom scored a late winner as Bordeaux won 1-0 away to second division Clermont, while Caen, Angers, Saint-Etienne and Rennes beat non-league sides.

Later Sunday, Lyon was facing Montpellier in an all-first division match.