Monaco move farther away from danger after Lyon win

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Monaco now five points clear from relegation zone after beating Lyon

Portuguese youngsters Gelson Martins and Rony Lopes scored as Monaco pulled further clear of the Ligue 1 relegation zone with an impressive 2-0 win over Lyon on Sunday.

Leonardo Jardim’s men are now unbeaten in four league games and five points clear of Caen, who occupy the relegation play-off spot.

“It’s better, but nothing is done,” said Jardim.

Martins continued his fine form for Monaco with the opening goal, before Lopes made it two before the half-hour mark and Memphis Depay missed a second-half penalty for Lyon.

Bruno Genesio’s Lyon remain third, only three points ahead of Saint-Etienne as they bid to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

Monaco, who have appeared revitalised since coach Jardim returned just months after being sacked and replaced by Thierry Henry, started strongly, with Radamel Falcao firing a volley wide in the ninth minute.

Nine minutes later, the hosts took the lead as Martins combined with fellow January signing Fode Ballo-Toure before lashing a low shot into the bottom corner to score his third goal in four games since joining the club on loan from Atletico Madrid.

“The goal (when Jardim returned) was to play at the level of one of best teams in France for the last 16 league matches,” Jardim added. “We have done that for four matches. We must continue.”

It did not take Monaco long to double their advantage, as Lopes netted a fine individual goal.

The 23-year-old, who missed the majority of Monaco’s dreadful first half of the season through injury, stole possession from the ponderous Leo Dubois before streaking clear and slotting left-footed past his namesake Anthony Lopes in the Lyon goal.

The visitors almost pulled one back on the stroke of half-time when Tanguy Ndombele headed over, and they pushed forwards at the start of the second period.

But Depay blew a golden chance to end his three-month goal drought as Danijel Subasic sprung to his left to tip away the Dutchman’s 71st-minute penalty after Kamil Glik had brought down Moussa Dembele.

On Saturday, Paris Saint-Germain saw off Nimes 3-0 to move 17 points clear at the top, with a game in hand, as Kylian Mbappe scored twice to become the youngest-ever player to reach 50 Ligue 1 goals.


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