Former Newcastle playmaker Hatem Ben Arfa scored a wonder goal as 10-man Nice ended Saint-Etienne’s winning run in Ligue 1 on Sunday evening.
Ben Arfa first came to the fore after Vincent Koziello’s fifth-minute opener was cancelled out by Loic Perrin a quarter of an hour later by re-establishing Nice’s lead after 39 minutes at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.
The forward then scored a sensational goal on the stroke of half-time, dribbling past several defenders before shooting low across Saint-Etienne goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier from a tight angle.
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Jean Seri completed the scoring in the 53rd minute as Nice coasted to a 4-1 win despite the dismissal of Nampalys Mendy just after the hour mark. It ensured second-placed Saint-Etienne remain four points behind league leaders Paris Saint-Germain.
The biggest shock of the day came at the Stade Velodrome as Marseille suffered a 2-1 defeat to surprise package Angers.
The top-flight newcomers took the lead through Thomas Mangani’s 38th-minute penalty before Romain Thomas doubled their lead midway through the second half.
The hosts were offered hope with 10 minutes left when Michy Batshuayi also converted from the penalty spot but, despite late efforts from L’OM, Angers left the velodrome with all three points.
Nicolas Benezet’s superb 89th-minute strike denied Monaco a second successive away win inside a week as Guingamp claimed a 3-3 draw.
Goals from Bernardo Silva, Andrea Raggi and Nabil Dirar seemed likely to hand Leonardo Jardim’s side the win, despite having twice squandered the lead to goals from Sloan Privat and Benezet.
Montpellier moved off the bottom of the table after claiming their first three points of the season with a 2-1 win over Lorient.
Despite Ramy Bensebaini’s early strike being cancelled out by Rafidine Abdullah, who was later sent off, Jonas Martin’s 57th-minute effort sealed victory for Montpellier.