Marseille miss chance at first in Ligue 1 with 2-1 loss to Nice


Marseille missed the chance to reclaim top spot in Ligue 1 after they slumped to a 2-1 defeat at Nice. Victory for Les Olympiens at the Allianz Riviera would have seen them move above Lyon into first place, but Marcelo Bielsa's side offered very little in attack and deserved nothing from the game. Nice may remain unable to register recent signing Hatem Ben Arfa, but goals from Romain Genevois and Niklas Hult ensured they ended a difficult week in a positive manner. Even Kevin Gomis' second-half dismissal could not spoil Nice's evening and they held their nerve after Marseille winger Florian Thauvin pulled a goal back late on to claim all three points. Marseille's night began in ignominious fashion as goalkeeper Steve Mandanda's poor clearance was swooped upon by Alassane Plea, who exchanged passes with Hult before shooting wide. Plea only narrowly missed the target again with a header from Valentin Eysseric's free-kick shortly after Michy Batshuayi had fired over the bar at the other end. Marseille ended the half on top and almost broke the deadlock shortly before the interval as a well-worked move involving Baptiste Aloe and Batshuayi ended with the latter shooting wide. Nice came firing out of the traps at the beginning of the second and duly took the lead in the 48th minute. Eric Bautheac's free-kick was only cleared as far as Eysseric, who picked out Genevois to head home into an empty net. Their hopes of claiming all three points improved five minutes later as Gomis was given his marching orders following his second yellow card in a matter of minutes. Mandanda had to be alert to stop Nampalys Mendy's low drive, but there was nothing the Marseille custodian could do to stop Nice from doubling their lead after 73 minutes. Bautheac shook off his marker on the right and laid the ball off to Plea to send in a marvellous ball for Hult, who drove low into the net. Marseille halved the deficit four minutes later to set up a tense finale, with Thauvin sending a looping header over Mouez Hassen from Gianelli Imbula's long ball over the top. But Nice held on to claim a well-deserved three points.