PARIS (AP) — Patrick Vieira’s Nice extended its match-winning streak to five games with a 2-0 win against Lille in the French league on Sunday.
From 15th place in September after three losses in his first six games as Nice manager, the former Arsenal great has now steered the Mediterranean team to seventh, with Saint-Etienne, Marseille, Lille and Montpellier just ahead, all within three points.
Since losing 1-0 to Marseille in October, Nice has kept clean sheets in four successive league wins and beaten Auxerre 3-2 in the League Cup.
“We’re getting better and better,” said defender Malang Sarr. “Racking up clean sheets is good for confidence.”
Montpellier missed an opportunity to vault over Lyon into second place by drawing 2-2 against Rennes on Sunday.
Hatem Ben Arfa opened the scoring for Rennes but Montpellier took the lead with goals from Andy Delort on either side of halftime. Benjamin Bourigeaud equalized for Rennes with a penalty in the last 20 minutes.
Florian Thauvin stole the show in the weekend’s last game, with a hat trick that earned Marseille a 3-1 win at Amiens. Marseille also had Dimitri Payet’s penalty saved by Amiens goalkeeper Regis Gurtner.
Bakaye Dibassy scored for Amiens. Marseille climbed to fifth place, with 25 points. Nice has 23.
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