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Ligue 1: Monaco, Lyon qualify for UCL; Weah’s first start for PSG

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PARIS (AP) — Memphis Depay scored a hat trick as Lyon came from behind to beat Nice 3-2 and qualify for the Champions League at the expense of Marseille in the French league on Saturday.

Lyon, which had a one-point lead over Marseille ahead of the last round, kept its lead intact and finished in third place behind Paris Saint-Germain and deposed champion Monaco. The first three teams in the French league qualified for the Champions League.

“Lots of joy tonight, everybody was very focused and motivated,” said Lyon forward Nabil Fekir, who is widely expected to leave the club this summer. “It caps an exceptional season.”

Alassane Plea scored Nice’s goals.

Depay scored all three goals in the second half.

Nice coach Lucien Favre confirmed he will leave the club in the offseason.


After losing the Europa League final to Atletico Madrid on Wednesday, Marseille missed out on the Champions League for the second time despite beating Amiens 2-1.

“We had a superb season but our efforts did not pay off,” Marseille top striker Florian Thauvin said.

Marseille ended fourth and will play the Europa League next season alongside Rennes and Bordeaux.


Monaco won at Troyes 3-0 and finished runner-up, 13 points behind PSG, which drew at Caen 0-0. The goalless draw guaranteed Caen stayed in the topflight while Troyes was demoted to the second division.

Monaco needed just one point to qualify for the Champions League but made sure it finished runner-up with a win. The Principality side was in complete control as Rony Lopes scored twice and Jordi Mboula sealed Troyes’ fate in added time.

Troyes finished 19th and joined last-place Metz in the second division.

Toulouse, which beat Guingamp 2-1, will have to win a playoff against a second-division club to remain in the topflight.

Elsewhere, Italian coach Claudio Ranieri won his last game in charge of mid-table Nantes, 1-0 over Strasbourg.


In the absence of Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe, PSG coach Unai Emery gave Timothy Weah — George Weah’s 18-year-old son — his first start in Caen.

Caen finished the season with only 27 goals, the worst total since Arles-Avignon was demoted with 21 in 2011.

Europa League final preview: Greizmann goes home

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Atletico Madrid doesn’t need to win Europa League Final to make the UEFA Champions League, but Marseille might.

[ MORE: U.S. players in the Premier League ]

The two tangle Wednesday in Lyon, with Atleti’s Antoine Griezmann returning to France to face one of the biggest clubs in Ligue 1.

And there are two specific French strikers who may make the difference in the final, won last season by Manchester United. Atleti won the UEL in 2010 and 2012, and a French team has never won the tournament (Marseille is a two-time finalist).

Griezmann will be the key for Atletihas a goal or an assist in all but one Europa League match this season, and his 27 goals and 15 assists on the season on par with most of his better years despite playing in fewer matches.

Marseille’s Florian Thauvin was a bust under Steve McClaren at Newcastle, but has fulfilled every bit of his promise this season with OM after a terrific return to Ligue 1 last season.

Atleti has allowed a miserly 20 goals in league play this season, and just 13 more in 20 other matches. Goalkeeper Jan Oblak has been especially sensational in the tournament.

Ligue 1: Depay’s goal streak hits 5 games; Lyon reeling in Monaco

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MONACO (AP) Lyon won at Dijon 5-2 and moved within one point of second-place Monaco in the French league on Friday.

Lyon’s sixth straight league win kept them level on points with fourth-place Marseille.

The team finishing second qualifies automatically for next season’s Champions League, while the team in third goes into the playoffs. After this weekend, there will be four rounds remaining.

Memphis Depay has scored or created 12 of Lyon’s 16 last goals.

The Netherlands forward opened the scoring in the fourth minute with a close-range volley, and set up the fourth goal for winger Bertrand Traore in the 77th.

Depay almost scored another, just failing to reach right back Rafael‘s cross in the 50th. Midfielder Houssem Aouar followed up and his strike was turned into his own net by defender Valentin Rosier.

Lyon’s other goals came from forwards Nabil Fekir in the 53rd and Maxwell Cornet in the 82nd.


MONACO (AP) — After losing the French title last weekend, Monaco is in danger of throwing away second place after losing at Guingamp 3-1 on Saturday.

The defeat leaves Monaco just one point ahead of Lyon and Marseille as the three sides chase an automatic place in the Champions League with four games left.

Monaco was thrashed by champion Paris Saint-Germain 7-1 last Sunday and the defense leaked easily again, albeit with a little help from one of its defenders.

A makeshift Monaco fell behind midway through the first half after Brazilian defender Jemerson was given a red card for stopping a shot on the line. He was sent off and veteran forward Jimmy Briand netted from the penalty spot for mid-table Guingamp.

Monaco capitulated and trailed 3-0 after 47 minutes. Defender Almamy Toure replied in vain with a consolation goal midway through the second half.


Marseille crushed Lille 5-1 to join Lyon on 69 points. Lyon, which won at Dijon 5-2 on Friday for a sixth straight win, has a better goal difference.

Marseille also has the Europa League and plays the first leg of its semifinal at home to Austrian side Salzburg next Thursday. But Lyon has only Ligue 1 to think about.

Still, Marseille is also brimming with confidence these days, especially winger Florian Thauvin.

He scored twice against Lille to extend his career-best league tally to 19. Greece striker Kostas Mitroglou also netted twice, and forward Lucas Ocampos completed the rout against 19th-place Lille.

In other matches: Amiens won against Strasbourg 3-1; struggling Toulouse beat Angers 2-0, and last-place Metz drew at home to Caen 1-1.

PSG is at Bordeaux on Sunday. Also, Nice is at home to Montpellier, and Saint-Etienne takes on Troyes.

In-form Memphis Depay stars again as Lyon win 5th straight

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MONACO (AP) The irrepressible Memphis Depay starred again as third-place Lyon beat Amiens 3-0 to secure a fifth straight French league win on Saturday.

The result keeps the pressure on Marseille in the chase for third and a spot in next season’s Champions League playoffs. Marseille, which is three points behind, is at struggling Troyes on Sunday.

Depay has been galvanized since being moved off the left flank and into a central striker’s role in a 4-4-2 formation . The Netherlands forward created the opening goal for Lyon top scorer Mariano Diaz in the 30th minute and added the second in the 83rd – the 10th straight goal for Lyon he’s either scored or created.

Last weekend, he created four and scored one in Lyon’s 5-0 win at Metz, having scored the club’s three previous goals.

His fine run finally ended as he was not involved in Lyon’s third goal, scored two minutes later by winger Bertrand Traore following good work by forward Nabil Fekir.

Nabil was returning from injury, and he restores Lyon’s three leading scorers in the lineup for the remaining five matches. Diaz has 18 league goals, Fekir has 16, and Depay 14. Traore has also chipped in with a useful nine.

“We did the job, and did it rather well, even though we can still improve technically and play with a better rhythm,” Lyon coach Bruno Genesio said. “We have five games left, which is a lot.”

Later, Rennes was looking to strengthen its grip on fifth place with a home win against last-place Metz. The game between Caen and Toulouse was postponed because of heavy rainfall in the Normandy area.

Runaway league leader Paris Saint-Germain can seal the title on Sunday by beating defending champion Monaco at home.

A Monaco loss would leave it just four points ahead of Lyon and open up the race for second and an automatic Champions League berth.

“We have to stay focused and concentrate on our third place, rather than thinking about Monaco in second place,” Genesio said. “Monaco has not lost (the match) yet.”

Depay makes case for another big move in Lyon’s 5-0 rout of Metz

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PARIS (AP) Brazilian defender Marcelo scored twice and forward Memphis Depay was involved in every goal as Lyon piled more misery on last-place Metz with a 5-0 win in the French league on Sunday, keeping its chances alive in the race for Champions League qualification.

With six matches left this season, the seven-time French champions cut their deficit with second-place Monaco to seven points.

Paris Saint-Germain has a 14-point lead at the top of the standings and can seal its fifth title in six years with a win against Monaco next weekend.

It was Lyon’s fourth 5-0 win of the season, and its fourth consecutive league win. The result took Lyon to third, level on points with Marseille.

Under the guidance of an excellent Depay, who delivered four assists and scored one goal, Lyon was in control throughout. Marcelo scored in the opening minute of the game at the Saint-Symphorien stadium with a header and doubled the visitors’ lead in the 21st from another corner kick.

Depay made it 3-0 in the 65th with a chipped finish before Bertrand Tarore and Mariano Diaz completed the rout.

“I can do even better with more belief in myself,” Depay said. “I delivered four assists tonight, but I could have had more and scored more goals. I like to play in that role because I’m close to the goal.”

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