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PARIS (AP) — Forward Alassane Plea lived up to his new role as Nice beat Angers 1-0 on Saturday to move level on six points with Lyon at the top of the French league.
Nice finished fourth last season under coach Claude Puel but has seen key players leave in the offseason, with winger Hatem Ben Arfa joining Paris Saint-Germain and striker Valere Germain returning to Monaco. Puel also left for Premier League Southampton.
Plea now has the task of carrying Nice's attack and he struck for the visitors in the fourth minute after being set up by midfielder Jean Michael Seri.
Toulouse moved above Monaco and up to third place, thanks to a resounding 4-1 win against Bordeaux.
Issa Diop and Christopher Jullien scored inside the first 10 minutes, and Denmark forward Martin Braithwaite added second-half goals before Swedish forward Isaac Kiese Thelin grabbed a late consolation for Bordeaux.
Earlier, Brazilian Gabriel Boschilia scored with a free kick as Monaco won 1-0 at Nantes.
The 20-year-old midfielder, who joined Monaco from Sao Paulo last season, struck his first goal for the club in the 25th minute with a curling shot that beat goalkeeper Remy Riou.
It was a second straight win for Monaco after it secured a valuable 2-1 win away to Villarreal in the first leg of their Champions League playoff.
"I made the decision to change the team a little bit," Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim said. "It's my job to take risks sometimes."
Also Saturday, it was: Lille 1, Dijon 0; Lorient 0, Bastia 3; and Rennes 2, Nancy 0.
Winger Allan Saint-Maximin struck midway through the first half to put Bastia ahead and things got worse for Lorient in the 30th when midfielder Didier N'Dong was shown a straight red card. Bastia striker Enzo Crivelli scored eight minutes later.
The pattern repeated itself when Lorient had striker Benjamin Jeannot sent off in the 77th and Crivelli added his second of the game shortly after.
Former France midfielder Yoann Gourcuff and forward Giovanni Sio scored a goal each for Rennes.
Meanwhile, midfielder Younousse Sankhare scored with three minutes remaining to give Lille a hard-fought win against promoted Dijon.
Defending champion PSG can move level on points with Lyon and Nice if it beats promoted Metz on Sunday night.
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