AFP

Nice held 1-1 at Nantes as title dream fades

Nice held 1-1 at Nantes as title dream fades
By Reuters

18/03/2017 at 19:32Updated 18/03/2017 at 21:15

Injury-hit Nice were held to a 1-1 draw at mid-table Nantes on Saturday with Jean Michael Seri cancelling out Emiliano Sala's opener to earn the visitors a point as their hopes of a first Ligue 1 title since 1959 were dented.

The draw moves third-placed Nice on to 64 points, one behind Paris St Germain and four behind leaders AS Monaco ahead of their games at home to Olympique Lyonnais and at Caen respectively on Sunday.

Emiliano Sala à la lutte avec Hernique Dalbert lors de Nantes-Nice

Emiliano Sala à la lutte avec Hernique Dalbert lors de Nantes-NiceAFP

However, surprise package Nice, without key players Alassane Plea, Wylan Cyprien and captain Paul Baysse due to injury, responded six minutes later when Seri netted with a delightful strike from the edge of the box.

Nice saw a lot of the ball after the break but were unable to make the most of their dominance, with Italian frontman Mario Balotelli needlessly distracted by a tit-for-tat battle with Nantes' Diego Carlos.

"It's a good point," Nice coach Lucien Favre told journalists. "It was a difficult match, as we expected.

"As I've said, I'm not looking at (the table), either the teams ahead or behind us. I look at how we play and what we're currently capable of doing."

Nice saw a lot of the ball after the break but were unable to make the most of their dominance, with Italian frontman Mario Balotelli needlessly distracted by a tit-for-tat battle with Nantes' Diego Carlos.

"(The title) will be difficult," said Nice defender Dante. "Above all we need to continue to work to make the fans happy.

"There are absentees at the moment, but we have to continue to work hard and push forward."

Nantes remain in 10th place on 38 points.

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