Lyon’s Karl Toko Ekambi vies for the ball with Monaco’s Axel Disasi during their French League match at Groupama Stadium in Decines on Sunday. Agence France-Presse
Paris: Lyon continued their revival with another first-half spree on their way to thrashing Monaco 4-1 in Ligue 1 on Sunday but earlier Lille faltered and blew a chance to retake top spot, drawing at Nice.
Lyon ended the eighth round of the French league season with an decisive home victory as Karl Toko Ekambi struck twice for the second week in a row.
“Toko Ekambi played a huge match,” said Lyon coach Rudi Garcia. “Let’s hope he keeps it up.”
Memphis Depay opened the scoring after a pass from Houssem Aouar in the 12th minute.
Toko Ekambi converted a cross from Tino Kadewere at the second attempt in the 34th minute.
In the 41st minute, the Cameroon striker won a penalty that Aouar converted. Three minutes later, Toko Ekambi took advantage of a misunderstanding in the Monegasque defence to score.
Monaco had dominated possession and their coach Niko Kovac agreed that the half-time score flattered Lyon.
“It was a pretty incredible first half,” said Kovac. “I have never experienced such a first half before.”
Wissam Ben Yedder converted a Monaco penalty early in the second half but even though the visitors dominated possession, they could not make the game close. Lyon moved up to sixth and next week face Lille who are second on goal difference after drawing at Nice. Lille remain unbeaten after eight matches but trail reigning champions Paris Saint-Germain on goal difference.
Patrick Vieira’s Nice sit fifth, four points off the top two. Kasper Dolberg put Nice ahead less than five minutes into the second half, getting in front of Lille defender Domagoj Bradaric before dinking the ball into the net to score his third goal of the season.
Lille levelled in the 58th minute as Luiz Araujo’s pass freed Burak Yilmaz, who hammered home a fierce volley.
The veteran Turkish striker has netted four Ligue 1 goals since signing from Besiktas in the close season.