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PSG moves to top with narrow win over Nice, Lyon suffers setback

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Paris, Feb 14 (IANS) Moise Kean netted the winner as Paris Saint-Germain beat Nice 2-1 at Parc des Princes to return to the top spot on the standings, while Lyon slipped up 2-1 at home to Montpellier.

Kean on Saturday scored in the 76th minute to increase his league tally to 10 goals to secure a vital win for Mauricio Pochettiono’s side, before its Champions League round of 16 first-leg clash against Barcelona on Tuesday, reports Xinhua news agency.

“Putting all the ingredients on the table, I was happy with the attitude and the commitment of the players,” said Pochettino, whose key players Neymar and Angel Di Maria will be unavailable for the Barca game due to injuries.

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“We have to be ready because on Tuesday we have a very important game, and we will be ready for it.”

To celebrate the Chinese New Year, this round of Ligue 1 matches, themed the Chinese Day, was packed with fanfare as elements of Chinese culture could be seen everywhere on the pitch.

PSG players were wearing a special edition of jersey with their names in Chinese, and a big curtain with the image of an ox, the Chinese zodiac sign of this year, was shown in the stands.

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Julian Draxler put PSG in front in the 23rd minute, after Mauro Icardi hit the post. However, defender Marquinhos made an awful mistake at the beginning of the second half to hand a chance to Rony Lopes to level the score.

Kean then secured three points for PSG, who moved level on points with Lille, who hosts Brest on Sunday.

Later in the day, Lyon’s five-game winning streak was snapped by Montpellier as Elye Wahi scored in the 65th minute to seal the match for the visitors.

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Midfielder Teji Savanier latched onto a cross from striker Andy Delort in the 19th minute to open the scoring for Montpellier. Lucas Paqueta struck the equalizer for Rudi Garcia’s side before the break, sweeping home from close range after Houssem Aouar’s header was saved.

Lyon slipped to third place after the defeat, two points off top two PSG and Lille.

–IANS

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