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Metz climb out of relegation zone, Montpellier & Lille win

Metz climb out of relegation zone, Montpellier & Lille win

It was another big afternoon in the race for European football as well as the battle to avoid relegation in Ligue 1 Uber Eats as Metz found a vital win over fellow strugglers Le Havre, whilst Montpellier and Lille came away with important wins

Lille 1-0 Strasbourg: Les Dogues back bid for European return with tight win over Strasbourg

Paulo Fonseca's LOSC side had to pick themselves up after Thursday's painful UEFA Europa Conference League elimination to Premier League side Aston Villa, but they were quick off the mark as Jonathan David put Les Dogues ahead with his 17th goal of the season (13'). The home side almost doubled their lead later in the half, but Frederic Guilibert was on hand to intervene with a spectacular sliding block to scramble the ball away.

It quieter start to the second half than the first at a sunny Stade Pierre-Mauroy, as LOSC held the ball well without decisively doubling their lead. Patrick Vieira's Strasbourg side, meanwhile, managed to hold their ground, and grow into the game as the half wore on. Emmanuel Emegha had a golden opportunity to level after being played through on goal, but his rushed strike was blasted way over the bar (80'). Yet, LOSC would hold on for the three points which puts Les Dogues in a good position in the race to qualify for the Champions League.

Le Havre 0-1 Metz : Les Grenats climb out the relegation zone and above desperate Le Havre 

After being defeated by Nantes (0-1) last week, another huge home clash awaited Le Havre at Stade Océane on Sunday afternoon as they faced an FC Metz side who only sat a point behind them in the Ligue 1 Uber Eats table.

Georges Mikautadze - so often Metz's saviour this season - opened the scoring for the away side with a strike into an open net after reacting quickly to Arthur Atta's rebounded strike (46'). With the Georgian's 10th strike of the season, Les Grenats would have a sound opportunity to go above the day's Normand hosts. Emmanuel Sabbi's long-range strike went wide of the post, before Mikautadze almost grabbed his second of the day by hitting the post with a low strike from the edge of the box.

Sabbi was involved again as his volley from the edge of the box struck the bar, as Loïc Nego connected badly from the following corner - le Ciel et Marine putting on the pressure going into the last 15 minutes. Yet, Le Havre couldn't find the break, as they succumbed to yet another defeat against a relegation-threatened side and drop into the relegation play-off spot. But for Metz, it's another huge result in their bid to stay up, driven once more by their star player Mikautadze.

Stade de Reims - Montpellier: De Zakarian's side all-but secure Ligue 1 safety as Reims' distant dreams of Europe begin to fade

It was a clash which began brightly at Stade Auguste Delaune, with Akor Adams coming close with a shot into the side-netting within the first five minutes, before Junior Ito replied with a volley of his own shortly after. The away side would then take the lead through defender Modibo Sagnan, who rose highest from the corner and connected with a downwards header which was parried away by Diouf, but goal-line technology adjudged the header to have crossed the line (13').

Will Still's side reacted in the second half, and after a scare from keeper Diouf (whose rash tackle almost led to an open-net chance) Les Rémois got back into the game with a header from Emmanuel Agbadou, assisted by Teddy Teuma shortly after being substituted on (66'). Whilst the momentum looked in favour of the home side, it would be Montpellier that found a decisive goal on the counter-attack through Musa Al-Taamari, who drove at Benjamin Stambouli and slipped a finish underneath Diouf (86'). The final whistle would come as Montpellier celebrated a win which quasi-secures their Ligue 1 future, whilst Les Rémois missed an opportunity to relaunch a bid for European football.

>> Mikautadze helps Metz fight the drop

>>Fortress Mauroy: Can LOSC's home form secure top four?