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French Ligue 1

Route de Lorient 5th May 2013 - Kick off 13:00 Ref: Benoit Bastien

Rennes Rennes vs Nice Nice

Rennes 0

C Mavinga (S/O 56)


Nice 3

D Cvitanich (52, pen 71)
E Bautheac (84)
N Pejcinovic (S/O 90)

Nice climb into top four

Last Updated: 05/05/13 4:31pm

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Jonathan Pitroipa vies for possession with Nemanja Pejcinovic

Jonathan Pitroipa vies for possession with Nemanja Pejcinovic

Nice climbed into the top four of the Ligue 1 standings after defeating mid-table Rennes with three second-half goals.

The visitors broke the deadlock five minutes after half-time through Dario Cvitanich and they received a further boost soon after when Rennes lost Chris Mavinga to a red card for pushing the Nice goalscorer.

Cvitanich then doubled his account for the match from the penalty spot with 19 minutes remaining to make it 2-0 and the points were wrapped up six minutes from time when Eric Bautheac added a third.

Nice also finished the match with 10 men when Nemanja Pejcinovic was dismissed for a professional foul late on, but it made no difference to the final outcome as Claude Puel's side replaced St Etienne in fourth place.

Both sides had chances to take the lead during an evenly-fought first half but were denied by some fine goalkeeping.

Nice custodian David Ospina did well to save from Cheick Diarra early on before producing an even better stop to keep out Abdoulaye Doucoure's 25-yard effort in the 18th minute.

Ospina's Rennes counterpart Benoit Costil also proved his worth with a good save off Luigi Bruine in the 17th minute, while Cvitanich saw a superb right-footed volley fizz just past the post.

Following that exciting opening half-hour, the remainder of the first half produced little to set the pulses racing, but it was a different story after the break with three goals and two dismissals.

The opening goal arrived in the 50th minute when Nice regained possession after Costil had pushed away Didier Digard's free-kick. Luigi Bruins picked up the loose ball and floated in a cross which Pejcinovic headed to Cvitanich to nod in at the far post

Things quickly got worse for Rennes as five minutes later Mavinga was dismissed for shoving Cvitanich in the back and Nice took full advantage to add further goals through Cvitanich and Bautheac.

Cvitanich made it 2-0 from the spot in the 71st minute after Alou Diarra had handled inside the area and Bautheac volleyed home a fine third in the 84th minute.

Pejcinovic's 89th-minute red card for pulling down Jonathan Pitroipa when he was last man soured things slightly for Nice, but they will care little about that if they finish in the European places at the end of the season.

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French Ligue 1

French Ligue 1
Pos Team P Pts
1 Lyon 34 68
2 Paris St Germain 33 68
3 Monaco 34 62
4 St Etienne 34 58
5 Marseille 34 57
6 Bordeaux 34 55
7 Montpellier 34 53
8 Lille 34 50
9 Rennes 34 49
10 Nantes 34 44
11 Guingamp 34 43
12 Nice 34 41
13 Bastia 34 40
14 Toulouse 34 39
15 Caen 34 38
16 Lorient 34 38
17 Reims 34 38
18 Evian Thonon Gaillar 34 37
19 Metz 33 30
20 RC Lens 34 26