In-form Depay stars again as 3rd-place Lyon beats Amiens 3-0
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.”
Metz kept alive its slim chances of staying up by winning at Rennes 2-1, with forward Nolan Roux scoring both.
Rennes was eight games unbeaten and took a first-half lead through midfielder Benjamin Bourigeaud.
But Roux replied after the break with his 13th and 14th goals of the season.
Metz is last but only four points behind Lille in 18th place and the relegation playoff spot.
Saint-Etienne won at Strasbourg 1-0, with right back Mathieu Debuchy scoring his fourth in 10 games since joining from Arsenal.
Nantes drew with Dijon 1-1, and shaky Lille conceded two injury-time goals in a 2-2 home draw with Guingamp.
Montpellier faces Bordeaux in Sunday’s other game.
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