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Lyon leave it late, Balotelli with Nice winner

Teenage midfielder Houssem Aouar scored with the last kick of the game as Lyon kept their charge towards the top of Ligue 1 going with a 2-1 win at Amiens on Sunday.

Aouar had earlier cancelled out Serge Gakpe’s opener for Amiens, setting up a grandstand finish that saw Gael Kakuta miss a penalty for the hosts before Lyon won it.

It was a sickening finish for Amiens, who have impressed on their debut season in France’s top flight. However, not for the first time security at their Stade de la Licorne was called into question.

A part of the 11,500-capacity ground in the northern region of Picardy had to be evacuated before the start of the match because strong winds had caused a projector to become partially detached, posing a security risk.

Around 500 spectators had to be moved to avoid any threat of the projector falling on them.

At the end of September, 29 Lille supporters were injured as a barrier collapsed while they celebrated their team scoring. That game had to be abandoned.

But Amiens had gone eight matches unbeaten in all competitions before losing at Rennes in their last outing, and they went ahead here early on, Gakpe tapping home after the Lyon defence had failed to cut out a cross.

The visitors drew level with just 11 minutes remaining as Aouar turned in a Tanguy Ndombele cutback.

Amiens were then handed the chance to win the game from the penalty spot after Lucas Tousart was penalised for a foul in the area.

However, the one-time Chelsea prodigy Kakuta saw his 89th-minute spot-kick come back off the post. And Lyon then snatched victory in the 94th minute, Aouar meeting a Mariano Diaz cross to side-foot home as Lyon claimed a fifth consecutive away league win.

“We got a couple of breaks but we did also go looking for the equaliser and then the victory by showing character and rolling our sleeves up,” said the Lyon coach Bruno Genesio.

– Nice come from behind –

Lyon move up to second on goal difference above Monaco, who came from two goals down to win 3-2 at home to Troyes on Saturday.

That duo will be joined by Marseille if they beat Saint-Etienne later.

Meanwhile, Mario Balotelli’s superb strike from the edge of the area with quarter of an hour left handed Nice a 2-1 win away to Claudio Ranieri’s Nantes.

Nantes enjoyed a good start to the season but had won just once in four outings before this game, in which they took an early lead through Yacine Bammou.

But Alassane Plea headed Nice back level before the interval and Balotelli won it with his ninth league goal of the campaign.

The victory lifts Lucien Favre’s side up into the top half for the first time since early October.

Paris Saint-Germain are nine points clear at the summit and certain to end the calendar year on top of the table after beating Lille 3-1 on Saturday.

After consecutive defeats to Strasbourg and Bayern Munich in the past week, they bounced back at the Parc des Princes with Angel di Maria, Javier Pastore and Kylian Mbappe all on target. (By:AFP)

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