Depay scores again as Lyon beats Nantes to go 2nd in Ligue 1
ABS-CBN Sports on Apr 29, 2018 08:45 AM
FILE - Lyon's Memphis Depay controls the ball during their French League One soccer match against Toulouse in Decines, near Lyon, central France, Sunday, April 1, 2018. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)
By Jerome Pugmire, Associated Press
PARIS (AP) — Memphis Depay scored for a sixth straight game and created the other goal as Lyon beat Nantes 2-0 to move up to second place in the French league on Saturday.
He netted a superb strike in the 40th minute and helped set up Bertrand Traore in the 68th. Depay has scored or created 14 of Lyon's 18 last goals.
In the chase for an automatic place in next season's Champion League, Lyon is one point ahead of Monaco, which again dropped points after drawing at home to Amiens 0-0. Monaco will drop down to fourth if Marseille wins at Angers on Sunday. A Marseille victory will move it level with Lyon, which has a vastly better goal difference.
The team finishing third has to go through the playoffs - unless Atletico Madrid wins the Europa League in Lyon - but Depay is doing his best to help Lyon take the direct route to Europe. He is finishing the season in the kind of form which saw the Netherlands forward once hailed as a future star .
Receiving a pass from Nabil Fekir on the edge of the penalty area, he flicked the ball behind his standing leg with his right foot and then whipped a fierce strike with his left into the bottom corner for his 16th league goal.
Midway through the second half, Depay cut inside from the left and beat two defenders. He was about to shoot but the ball ran to Traore, who slotted in from a better position.
"Of course I'm important to the team and I try to continue to the end of the season. But it's not only me, it's a collective," Depay said. "We have to win the last three games."
Depay, who joined from Manchester United midway through last season, would not say if he will stay if Lyon qualifies for the Champions League.
"That's a question I cannot answer," he told Canal Plus television. "I don't look at the future."
French champion Paris Saint-Germain hosts Guingamp on Sunday. PSG coach Unai Emery is leaving the club at the end of the season.
Having lost its French title, Monaco is doing its best to throw away second place.
The draw with Amiens means Monaco has only five points from the last five games, opening the door for Lyon and Marseille in the race for second place.
Monaco and Amiens each had a player sent off late.
Lille picked up a vital win by beating last-place Metz 3-1 in a relegation scrap.
Lille remains in 19th place, however, because fellow struggler Troyes beat Caen 3-1 to stay in 18th — the relegation playoff place. Troyes is still counting on the aging legs of 41-year-old midfielder Benjamin Nivet, who was among the scorers.
Nice is chasing a Europa League place but is one point behind fifth-place Saint-Etienne after drawing 1-1 at Strasbourg. Mario Balotelli scored from the penalty spot in the second half — his 15th goal of the season — to earn a point for Nice.
Also, Bordeaux beat Dijon 3-1.