Lyon’s French forward Nabil Fekir (R) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match between Lyon and Monaco on October 13, 2017 at the Groupama stadium in Decines-Charpieu, France
Nabil Fekir’s last-gasp free-kick delivered three crucial points to Lyon in Ligue 1 Friday as their captain sealed a 3-2 home win over champions Monaco. The defeat of the second-placed southerners offers Paris Saint-Germain the chance to climb six points clear at Dijon on Saturday. Lyon, who last won the title in 2008, climbed to third after back-to-back 3-3 draws.
With an eye on their Champions League game at home to Besiktas on Tuesday Monaco had rested key striker Radamel Falcao who had scored 12 goals in eight league games but played for Colombia in midweek.
Lyon started with all guns blazing as new boy Mariano, signed from Real Madrid, almost stole a goal sneaking up on Danijel Subasic on the line only to hit the post.
But he stole in again unmarked to tap in a Fekir cross on 11 minutes before Monaco’s new star Rony Lopes fired an impressive equaliser form the edge of the box on 17 minutes.
Fekir then rounded off a magnificent Lyon move with a slick shot from near the penalty spot on 23 before Adama Traore cracked a belter into the top corner on 34 minutes to equalise for Monaco.
The second half was less breathtaking but built to a stunning finale with Fekir victim of a razor’s edge off-side decision on 90 before his late long range free-kick earned Lyon their fourth league win so far.
“The three points are really important. It was a great result even if they were missing key players,” Fekir told French television.
Monaco’s Lopes was keen to forget a match they might easily have won.
“We should have scored in the second half, it’s always tough to lose late like that, but we’ll put it behind us. We have the Champions League now,” said the 21-year-old attacking midfielder.
Monaco are unrecognisable from the team that romped to Ligue 1 last season having lost Kylian Mbappe to PSG, Benjamin Mendy and Bernardo Silva to Man City and Tiemoue Bakayoko to Chelsea.
But many of their new players especially Lopes, formerly of Man City, and Terence Kongolo in defence look promising.
PSG pay a visit to lowly Dijon on Saturday with five key players out including Edinson Cavani, Marco Verratti, Thiago Motta, Thiago Silva and Layvin Kurzawa after international action.