PARIS (AP) — Islam Slimani scored the winner for the second straight game as Monaco beat Montpellier 1-0 to leapfrog its rival into fifth place in the French league on Friday.
The Algeria striker almost left the club during last month’s winter transfer window but is back in favor under coach Robert Moreno.
Slimani headed in Russia midfielder Aleksandr Golovin’s corner in the 52nd minute, in a match where Monaco mostly dominated only to almost concede an injury-time equalizer.
Moreno dropped former Spain midfielder Cesc Fàbregas and opted for a 4-3-3 with Stevan Jovetić supporting league top scorer Wissam Ben Yedder and Slimani.
Jovetić, twice, Ben Yedder and Golovin went close in a one-sided first half as Monaco snatched at chances on the way to securing a third straight win.
Montpellier, strong at home but weak away, dropped to sixth spot.
Paris Saint-Germain will be without Neymar for the fourth straight game when it visits struggling Amiens on Saturday.
The Brazil star is bidding to recover from a rib injury for Tuesday’s match at Borussia Dortmund in the last 16 of the Champions League.
Second-placed Marseille, which trails PSG by 12 points, is at fourth-placed Lille on Sunday.
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