NICE, France (Reuters) – Nice stayed in touch with Ligue 1 leaders Paris St Germain after goals in each half by defenders Jean-Clair Todibo and Melvin Bard helped them to a 2-1 home win over struggling Brest on Saturday.
The result lifted Nice one place up to third on 16 points from eight games, eight adrift of runaway leaders PSG who visit Stade Rennes on Sunday, and two behind second-placed Lens who have played a game more.
Brest, who are still looking for their first league win of the season, stayed 19th on four points from nine games.
Dominant Nice should have won by a bigger margin as they were denied by a string of saves from Brest goalkeeper Marco Bizot and by some wayward finishing.
Bizot kept out a pair of Andy Delort headers early on and Calvin Stengs somehow shot wide of the far post from two metres before Todibo fired the home side ahead on the stroke of halftime.
The centre back blasted into the roof of an empty net from point blank range after Bizot spilled a long ball into the six-yard box, having collided with a team mate.
Stengs hit the crossbar and Amine Gouiri missed two chances early in the second half before he delivered a pinpoint cross for left back Bard to head home the second on the hour.
Franck Honorat pulled one back for the visitors in stoppage time with a crisp finish from inside the penalty area, but the home side held on comfortably.
In Sunday’s other standout fixtures, fourth-placed Olympique Marseille visit 10th-placed champions Lille and bottom team Saint Etienne are at home to traditional rivals Olympique Lyonnais in the Rhone-Alpes derby.
(Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Christian Radnedge)