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Matt Miazga set for loan move to Caen

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NBC Soccer’s Matt Reed can confirm reports by Get French Football News and French independent journalist Mohamed Toubache-Ter that Matt Miazga is headed to French club Caen to complete a loan move for the coming season. He will arrive in Caen tomorrow for his medical and the completion of his move if all goes well.

The US international has been a Chelsea player since moving from New York Red Bulls in the summer of 2016, but is still not considered an option for the first team. He has spent last two seasons on loan at Vitesse Arnhem in the Dutch Eredivisie, a club with a longstanding relationship with Chelsea. Miazga struggled to adjust in his first year at Vitesse, but last year made 32 league appearances and scored three goals while leading the club to a sixth place finish in the league table, with the fifth-best defensive record in the league.

According to the initial reports from France, Caen is looking to replace 30-year-old French defender Damien Da Silva, who moved to Belgian club Stade Rennais this summer after four years with Caen. Da Silva made 32 Ligue 1 appearances last season, suggesting that Miazga could play a significant role in the Caen squad should he be a direct replacement for Da Silva.

Caen finished 16th in the Ligue 1 table last season, narrowly avoiding relegation by a single point. They had a fairly solid defensive record for a lower-table side, but had an absolutely miserable time scoring goals, recording just 27 of them across 38 league games, by far the lowest in the league.

The 23-year-old Miazga has seven international caps for the United States and has long been considered a bright center-back prospect with a future as an important piece in the team, but to this point has been unable to secure a more cohesive role with a club since moving to Europe.

While Miazga is no longer considered a youngster, upgrading to a Big 5 league for the coming season can be seen as a positive development in his professional progression.

Stunning volley proves to be decider as Lyon tops Caen

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With Paris Saint-Germain suffering its first league defeat on Saturday, Lyon knew it could gain ground (albeit slight ground) on the Ligue 1 leaders.

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Lyon took the lead inside the opening 10 minutes when Maxwel Cornet lifted the visitors, but it was the game’s second goal that really got social media going.

In the 54th minute, Lyon dispossessed hosts Caen in its own half, before the ball fell to the team’s leading goalscorer — Mariano.

Watch the full buildup to the goal below, prior to Mariano’s blast into the side netting.

Balotelli on target as Nice draws with Caen in French league

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PARIS (AP) Mario Balotelli struck his 10th league goal of the season to lead the fightback as French title contender Nice drew at home with Caen 2-2 on Friday.

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With Nice trailing 2-0 with 20 minutes left, Balotelli ended a four-game goal drought with a close-range finish from defender Dante’s headed pass.

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Seven minutes later, substitute Anastasios Donis – on loan this season from Italian champion Juventus – netted the equalizer when his shot hit the right post and the left before rolling over the line.

Nice has been the surprise of the season and moved up to second place, one point above defending champion Paris Saint-Germain and two behind leader Monaco heading into this weekend’s games.

Coach Lucien Favre was delighted with the response from his players, but warned them to be more focused.

“We never give up, because we keep playing and we believe,” Favre said. “We sometimes forget how to play. You should attack but also defend.”

Striker Mickael Le Bihan missed a late chance to win the game when he swiveled and volleyed over.

Balotelli hit the target early into the game with a stinging half-volley from 25 meters out but was then quiet until his goal. By the end, he was strolling around and this prompted Favre to yell at him from the sidelines.

Caen hit the home side on the break when striker Ivan Santini jumped above Dante to firmly head in Vincent Bessat’s looping cross from the left for his 12th league goal.

Shortly after halftime, forward Yann Karamoh netted his sixth to make it 2-0.

Le Bihan galvanized Nice when he came off the bench in the 56th to replace midfielder Wylan Cyprien, who went off injured.

Cyprien has been one of Nice’s best players this season and his absence will be a blow.

“I’m not a doctor, but it’s the knee and that’s never very good news,” Favre said. “We need to see the (medical) results.”

Later Friday, improving Marseille hosted Angers.

Cavani paces PSG in rout with four first-half finishes

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The reigning French champions have had an uneven start to their 2016/17 season, but Friday night belonged to Paris Saint-Germain.

Edinson Cavani paced the Parisians with four goals in PSG’s 6-0 win over Caen, propelling the club to the top of Ligue 1 on 10 points.

The Uruguayan got 0ff to a hot start in the 12th minute, finishing off Maxwell’s cross after missing from a similar position just minutes sooner. Cavani then tacked on goals in the 23rd, 38th and 45th minutes, with the first of those three coming from the penalty spot.

Lucas Moura and Jean-Kévin Augustin added goals inside the final half hour to complete PSG’s domination.

Caen were held for much of the afternoon, as the 10th place side mustered up just one shot on target throughout the match.

Striker Lacazette scores 2 penalties as Lyon beats Caen 2-0

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PARIS (AP) Striker Alexandre Lacazette scored with two penalties to make it five goals in two games this season as Lyon beat Caen 2-0 in the French league on Friday.

Lacazette, who has spoken openly of his interest in moving to a bigger club, scored in each half to follow up his opening-day hat trick away to Nancy last weekend.

The first penalty came in the 31st minute after Caen forward Ivan Santini handled inside the penalty area and Lacazette’s second was deep into injury time.

Lacazette flicked the ball to midfielder Ferri and, after defender Syam Ben Youssef was adjudged to have tripped Ferri, he struck a firm shot into the bottom left corner.

His second goal came as a relief to the home fans following a sustained spell of Caen pressure.

Caen forward Ronny Rodelin went close with a dipping freekick in the 81st and midfielder Steed Malbranque – who joined Caen in the offseason from Lyon – forced a last-minute save from Anthony Lopes.

“We knew Caen came here to play. Well done to them,” Lacazette said. “I’m happy, because I’m repaying the faith that the team has shown in me.”

Despite being linked with moves to Italian side Napoli, as a replacement for Gonzalo Higuain, and English Premier League side Arsenal, the 25-year-old Lacazette gave his fans a boost by saying he now expects to stay for this season.

“I don’t think there’ll be a move,” said Lacazette, who was overlooked by France coach Didier Deschamps at this year’s European Championship.

The win moved Lyon provisionally top of the league with six points ahead of this weekend’s games.