Lyon beats Toulouse 2-0 to keep up with 3rd-place Marseille
PARIS (AP) — Memphis Depay ensured some home comfort for himself and Lyon after scoring both goals in a 2-0 win against struggling Toulouse on Sunday.
The Netherlands forward’s brace took him to 12 league goals this season, but only three have been at home. His only other goal in front of Lyon’s demanding fans was a spectacular injury-time strike in a 2-1 home win against league leader PSG on Jan. 21.
Following that victory, Lyon’s form dipped alarmingly.
But this win ensures fourth-place Lyon stays two points behind Marseille in the scrap for third spot and a place in the Champions League playoffs next season. They have seven games left. Monaco, which is four points clear of Marseille and six ahead of Lyon with a game in hand, remains favorite to finish second and secure an automatic place. Runaway leader PSG is 17 points clear of Monaco.
Depay’s first goal was a curling strike from the edge of the penalty area in the 24th minute. He got his second from the penalty spot just before halftime after midfielder Tanguy Ndombele was fouled.
Depay is finding form, scoring for his country in a 3-0 win against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal last Monday.
Toulouse is in 17th place, one point and one place above Troyes in the relegation playoff spot.
PSG and Monaco played in the League Cup final on Saturday. PSG won 3-0, beating Monaco in the final for the second straight year and winning the trophy for the fifth straight year.
Monaco plays its game in hand at Rennes on Wednesday.
MONTPELLIER STARTS SCORING
Montpellier is finding some firepower to go alongside its steely defense with Giovanni Sio’s two goals in a 3-1 win at Caen helping the southern side move up to fifth.
The Montpellier fans making the 930-kilometer (577-mile) trip from near the balmy Mediterranean sea up to chilly Normandy for a late-afternoon kickoff were well rewarded.
The visitors were 2-0 up after 24 minutes thanks to Sio’s first of the game and one from midfielder Ellyes Skhiri. Shortly after the break, Sio netted his 10th goal of the campaign.
With 26 goals conceded in 31 games, Montpellier has the league’s second-best defense behind PSG. But this was only the second time Montpellier has scored three goals in a league game this season.
Croatian striker Ivan Santini grabbed a late consolation for Caen.
Montpellier is above sixth-place Rennes on goal difference while Caen is 14th.
Striker Alassane Plea got both goals as Nice won 2-0 at struggling Troyes to climb above Nantes into seventh place.
Plea scored in the 17th minute with a firm strike from 20 meters (yards) which flew inside the left post.
Plea and Mario Balotelli then had first-half efforts ruled out for offside.
But Plea finally did get his brace in the 83rd, taking his season’s league tally to 12 — two less than Balotelli.
Ninth-place Saint-Etienne extended its unbeaten run to nine by winning 3-0 at Nantes.
Mathieu Debuchy is proving to be a key signing. Since the right back arrived from Arsenal in the January transfer window, Saint-Etienne has not lost and he has scored three goals.
Debuchy pounced in the first half and winger Remy Cabella scored twice after the break.
Next up for Saint-Etienne is PSG at home on Friday night.
Midtable Guingamp won 2-1 at home to Bordeaux, and 19th-place Lille lost 1-0 at home to Amiens.
Last-place Metz drew 2-2 at Strasbourg and is six points behind Lille and seven adrift of Troyes.
Third-place Marseille won 3-1 away to Dijon on Saturday.
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Jerome Pugmire on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jeromepugmire