- Associated Press - Saturday, May 7, 2016

PARIS (AP) - Lyon all but secured the second automatic spot for the Champions League after thrashing Monaco 6-1 in the French league on Saturday.

With one match left before the end of the campaign, Lyon opened a three-point gap over third-place Monaco in the standings. Lyon’s goal difference was also superior to Monaco’s by 22.

The French league runner-up qualifies automatically for the Champions League, with the third-place team entering the playoffs.

Five days before France coach Didier Deschamps will announce his squad for the European Championship, international striker Alexandre Lacazette produced a hat trick as Lyon extended its unbeaten run to 10 matches. Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa scored twice for Lyon after midfielder Rachid Ghezzal opened the scoring in the third minute.

Following a difficult start to the season, Lyon managed to turn things around after the turn of the year under coach Bruno Genesio, who was appointed during the Christmas break.

“We wanted to finish on a high note because we are coming back from very far away,” said Lacazette, who struggled with confidence at the start of the season. “We went through difficult times, but we kept working hard and believing in ourselves.”

Monaco, which was reduced to 10 men in the 23rd minute after Lacina Traore was sent off for a second booking, had just one shot on target and scored a consolation goal through Ricardo Carvalho.

Already crowned champion, Paris Saint-Germain won at Ajaccio 4-0 after Edinson Cavani netted a hat trick and Zlatan Ibrahimovic took his league tally for the season to 35 goals. PSG, which has two league matches left, set a new league points record of 92.

Also, Nice moved within two points of Monaco with a 2-0 win against Saint-Etienne, while Michy Batshuayi gave Marseille its first home win in the league since September in a 1-0 defeat of Reims at Velodrome Stadium.

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