Monaco strengthens 2nd place in French league
PARIS (AP) — Monaco recovered from a heavy league loss with a 2-0 win over Bastia to strengthen its second place in the French league on Tuesday.
The Principality side did not impress but played solid football throughout to provisionally increase its lead over third-place Angers to five points.
Monaco, which slumped to a 3-0 loss at Angers over the weekend, opened through an own goal from Francois-Joseph Modesto in the 35th minute and doubled its lead when Bernardo Silva beat keeper Jean-Louis Leca with a deflected shot.
Newly-signed Brazilian striker Vagner Lover was given his first start, getting involved in two good moves but lacking a cutting edge.
Runaway leader Paris Saint-Germain, which has a 21-point lead over Monaco, hosts Lorient on Wednesday.
Back on loan to Marseille after just six months at Newcastle, winger Florian Thauvin lasted only 10 minutes on the pitch in Tuesday’s late match that saw his side secure a 1-0 win at Montpellier.
The 23-year-old Thauvin came on as a replacement for Bouna Sarr in the 59th and got a red card in the 69th for a dangerous tackle on Montpellier captain Vitorino Hilton. That came a minute after Georges-Kevin Nkoudou gave the visitors the lead with his fifth league goal from a tight angle.
Nkoudou’s winner lifted Marseille to sixth place — eight points behind Monaco — with his team extending its unbeaten run to 11 league matches ahead of Sunday’s French “Classique” against bitter rival PSG.