MONACO (AP) — Arnaud Nordin notched two goals and an assist as Monaco’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League took a hit after a 4-0 loss to Montpellier in the French league on Sunday.
Fourth-place Monaco occupies the Europa League spot, five points behind Lens which has a game in hand, while Montpellier earned three precious points in its fight for safety to move 11 points above the relegation zone with five games remaining.
Montpellier winger Nordin intercepted a sloppy pass from Youssouf Fofana and cut inside to guide the ball into the bottom corner in the 28th minute.
Faitout Maouassa doubled the lead with an angled strike at the near post in the 65th before Nordin curled a shot into the far corner in the 72nd to make it 3-0.
English striker Stephy Mavididi took a pass from Nordin to round off the scoring with a low effort in the 79th.
Nordin proved a real thorn in the side of the Monaco defense. He tested goalkeeper Alexander Nubel in the 14th and the 48th and led a counterattack in the 45th to feed Elye Wahi, whose toe poke rolled wide.
Montpellier goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte kept a clean sheet by turning away chances to Wissam Ben Yedder in the 47th and Chrislain Matsima in the 65th.
Monaco didn’t look like a team chasing a Champions League spot in the first half. Coach Philippe Clement made three substitutions at halftime to inject more urgency, sending on Ismail Jakobs, Krepin Diatta and Eliesse Ben Seghir for Aleksandr Golovin, Edan Diop and Kevin Volland.
Also Sunday, it’s Paris Saint-Germain vs. Lorient, Marseille vs. Auxerre, Rennes vs. Angers, Clermont vs. Reims and Troyes vs. Nice.
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