April 18 – OGC Nice have booked a ticket for next season’s Champions League after a comfortable 3-1 win against Nancy, guaranteeing a top three finish in Ligue 1.
After 27 minutes the visitors took the lead following some slapstick defending from Nice on a corner kick, allowing Maurice Dale to tap home from close range. But the home side turned the match around thanks to goals from Mickael Le Bihan before the break and a brace from Ivorian Jean Michael Seri after the interval.
The win confirms that Nice will finish in at least third place in the French league. They have 73 points, 19 points more than fourth placed Olympique Lyon, whose match against Bastia was abandoned after crowd violence.
In Ligue 1 the top two qualify directly for the Champions League, the third-placed team goes into the qualifying rounds. Nice last played in the European Cup in the 1959/60 season. Nice’s three points keep the pressure on second-placed Paris Saint-Germain, on 74 points, and AS Monaco, on 77 points, but Monaco has a game in hand. Today PSG travel to Metz.
Monaco have been challenging the Parisian hegemony this season with a young and vibrant team that has racked up the goals, 90 in total in Ligue 1. They defeated Dijon 2-1 this weekend. On Wednesday the team from the principality will seek to extend their run in Europe when they host Borussia Dortmund in the second leg of the Champions League’s quarter-finals. They hold a 2-3 advantage from the first leg.
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