Monaco beats Angers to strengthen grip on European place

PARIS (AP) — With the race for European spots heating up, Monaco put daylight between itself and its main rivals in the French league with a 2-1 win at last-placed Angers on Sunday.

With four games left to play, Monaco strengthened its grip on fourth spot behind the leading trio of PSG, Lens and Marseille by moving five points clear of Lille. The fourth-placed side in Ligue 1 qualifies for the Europa League.

Lille lost ground on Monaco when Reims snapped a three-match losing streak thanks to Marshall Munetsi’s winner on Saturday. Trailing three points behind Lille, sixth-placed Rennes also misfired, losing 2-1 at Nice.

Monaco did not play particularly well against Angers. But a superb shot from outside the box into the top right corner from Aleksandr Golovin coupled with Myron Boadu’s finish in the 60th minute were enough to secure the win, although Abdallah Sima’s header four minutes later ensured a tense finish.

Leader PSG later traveled to struggling Troyes looking for a much-needed win after a turbulent week marred by a home loss and Lionel Messi’s suspension for making an unauthorized trip to Saudi Arabia. Ahead of its trip, PSG remains at the top of the standings, but only three points clear of second-placed Lens.

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