Dembele scores again as Lyon beats Montpellier 3-2

PARIS (AP) — Spurred on by in-form Moussa Dembele, Lyon bounced back from its Champions League elimination, and revived its hopes of direct qualification for Europe’s top competition next season, after beating Montpellier 3-2 in the French league on Sunday.

Lyon, which slumped to a 5-1 loss at Barcelona midweek in the last 16 of the tournament, moved within four points of second-placed Lille, which lost 1-0 at home to Monaco on Friday. The top two teams automatically qualify for the Champions League group stage. Runaway leader PSG hosts Marseille later Sunday.

An entertaining match with many chances for both sides saw hosts Lyon opening the scoring after 12 minutes. Martin Terrier scored from the rebound from Rafael’s cross after Montpellier goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte parried away his first attempt at goal.

Florent Mollet leveled for the visitors with a superb free kick and Dembele made it 2-1 near the hour mark with his 12th goal this season. It was Dembele’s fifth goal in his last three league games.

Under heavy rain, Nabil Fekir missed a second-half penalty before teammate Houssem Aouar increased Lyon’s lead with a diving header with four minutes remaining. Souleymane Camara reduced the gap in stoppage time.

Also, sixth-placed Reims defeated Nantes 1-0 with Remi Oudin’s second-half goal.