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Nice get back to winning ways at St Etienne amid fan problems

:Nice bounced back from their first defeat of the season with a comprehensive 3-0 victory at lowly St Etienne that lifted them up to provisional third in the Ligue 1 standings on Saturday but there were more supporter worries for the southern club.

Amine Gouiri, Calvin Stengs and Andy Delort scored to put the side, who slumped to a 1-0 defeat at Lorient on Wednesday, on 13 points from seven games.

Christophe Galtier's side have one game in hand, against Olympique de Marseille, after the encounter was abandoned last month because of crowd trouble, for which Nice were docked a point.

On Saturday, some 200 Nice fans had been authorised to enter St Etienne's stadium but only two dozen made it into the stands after local authorities said some supporters had been turned away for being drunk.

"These prescriptions were not respected by a large majority of this group of supporters from Nice, among whom were many people in an advanced state of inebriation," the Loire prefecture said in a statement.

"In this context, the interested parties could not access the Geoffroy Guichard stadium and had to turn back. Only about 20 Nice supporters were able to enter the stadium and attend the game."

Nice trail leaders Paris St Germain, who host Montpellier later on Saturday, by eight points.

St Etienne slid down to bottom with three points after eight games, behind 19th-placed Metz on goal difference.

Champions Lille, who have had a tricky start to the season, claimed their second victory in a row by beating Racing Strasbourg 2-1 away, with Jonathan David providing both goals for the northerners, one of them a second-half penalty.

Strasbourg reduced the arrears through Ibrahima Sissoko but finished the game with 10 men when Adrien Thomasson was shown a straight red card for a rough tackle.

Lille are now eighth on 11 points from eight games with Strasbourg in 10th place on 10.

Nice, who had conceded goals in two consecutive games after starting the season with four clean sheets, were rock solid in defence and the talent of their attacking players made the difference against St Etienne.

Gouiri found the back of the net after 15 minutes with a 30-metre strike that took a deflection off Mahdi Camara.

Stengs doubled the advantage nine minutes into the second half after being played through nicely by Kephren Thuram before Delort wrapped it up seven minutes from time from close range.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Clare Fallon)

Source: Reuters


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