Brest stuns Lens 4-0 to get out of relegation zone

PARIS — Brest secured a third consecutive victory in the French league on Sunday by beating Lens 4-0 to get out of the relegation zone.

Lens dropped to third place for the time being, 13 points behind leader Paris Saint-Germain.

Benin striker Steve Mounie opened the score in the third minute by heading in a deflected cross from Jeremy Le Douaron.

Brest captain Brendan Chardonnet doubled the lead in the 13th by backing into a corner.

Romain Faivre scored his fifth goal this season with a curling shot from the edge of the box and made it 3-0 in the 33rd.

Lens had several chances but missed the finishing touch. A slant shot from Lens full-back Przemyslaw Frankowski was cleared off the line by Christophe Herelle in the 10th. Brest goalkeeper Marco Bizot then turned a low drive from Gael Kakuta around the post in the 25th. Ignatius Ganago in the 35th and Seko Fofana in the 48th also hit the post.

Le Douaron put the result beyond doubt in 69th by stopping Kevin Danso from firing into the top corner.

Lens had only 10 men left in the 74th when substitute Arnaud Kalimuendo was sent off for a tackle from behind on Ronael Pierre-Gabriel.

Brest was unable to win any of his first 11 games this season, but recently turned a corner, beating Monaco and Lorient.

“That win against Monaco has done us a lot of good,” Faivre told Amazon Prime Video. “We feel that the players have more confidence. We play much more forward. We also have defensive soundness, we are much more compact. There is a better balance.’

Also on Sunday, Angers moved into sixth place by flattening Lorient 1-0 with a penalty from Thomas Mangani in the 67th.

Strasbourg equalized with the final kick of the game in a 1-1 draw with Reims when substitute Jean-Ricner Bellegarde curled in a free kick in the seventh minute of stoppage time.

Saint-Etienne remained in the relegation zone despite beating Troyes 1-0 with a powerful long-range attack from Peru defender Miguel Trauco in the 61st.

Grandpa Nguette came off the bench and scored twice to help the bottom side of Metz recover from a 2-0 deficit and a 3-3 draw with Bordeaux. Nguette took advantage of a corner to score from close range in the 52nd before scoring the equalizing goal with a loop header in the 71st. Metz midfielder Farid Boulaya was ejected in the 68th for a poor challenge on Yacine Adli.

The 14th round ends later Sunday with Clermont vs. Nice, and Lyon vs. Marseilles.

Lionel Messi scored his first goal in the French league on Saturday by leading PSG to a 3-1 win over Nantes. Rennes took second place by beating Montpellier 2-0.

On Friday, defending champion Lille played a 2-2 draw with Monaco and thus remained in the bottom half of the ranking.

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