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French Ligue 1

Municipal du Ray 10th March 2013 - Kick off 13:00 Ref: T Chapron

Nice Nice vs Montpellier Montpellier

Nice 2

S Bahoken (12, 24)

ft

Bahoken at the double

Last Updated: 10/03/13 4:12pm

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Stephane Bahoken celebrates.

Stephane Bahoken celebrates.

Stephane Bahoken marked his first start in Ligue 1 with a first-half brace in the 2-0 win against Montpellier to lift Nice to fifth.

The young striker scored from close range in the 12th minute and again in the 24th as his side bounced back in style from last week's 4-0 defeat to St Etienne.

Montpellier pressed in the second half and hit the woodwork through Younes Belhanda, but the reigning champions could not find a way back into the game.

The St Etienne setback was Nice's first defeat in six games, with 13 points gained over that period, but they had an early scare when John Utaka's drive skimmed the outside of the post.

But the hosts were soon on the front foot and took the lead just three minutes after that chance, when Eric Bautheac dispossessed defender Hilton and broke through before setting up Bahoken to slot home his first senior goal.

And with 24 minutes on the clock, Luigi Bruins' shot after a solo run rebounded off the post to give Bahoken another simple finish.

Hilton compounded his earlier error by deflecting away team-mate Belhanda's goalbound shot as Montpellier failed to cut the arrears by half-time.

They had chances after the interval, with Nice keeper David Ospina saving Belhanda's header and Anthony Mounier's low volley.

Most of the goalmouth action, though, was saved for a frantic last five minutes in which Montpellier threw everything at the home defence.

Souleymane Camara teed up Belhanda to smash a left-foot drive against the crossbar and it set the tone for the game's finale.

Camara himself fired into the side-netting from 20 yards and another clean strike from Belhanda bounced to safety off defender Renato Civelli.

That allowed Nice to hold on for their first win in nine meetings with Montpellier, and they could even have extended their lead in stoppage time when substitute Neal Maupay, on for Bahoken, seized on defensive uncertainty but was denied by keeper Geoffrey Jourdren.

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Matches

Table

French Ligue 1

French Ligue 1
Pos Team P Pts
1 Lyon 27 54
2 Paris St Germain 27 53
3 Marseille 27 50
4 Monaco 26 44
5 St Etienne 27 43
6 Montpellier 26 42
7 Bordeaux 27 42
8 Nantes 27 36
9 Lille 27 35
10 Rennes 27 35
11 Guingamp 27 35
12 Caen 27 34
13 Nice 27 34
14 Bastia 27 33
15 Reims 27 32
16 Lorient 26 31
17 Evian Thonon Gaillar 26 29
18 Toulouse 27 29
19 RC Lens 27 22
20 Metz 27 22