- Associated Press - Saturday, December 3, 2016

PARIS (AP) - Montpellier abruptly halted Paris Saint-Germain’s 12-match unbeaten run with the defending French league champion losing 3-0 Saturday. The round was marred by the Lyon goalkeeper being hospitalized at Metz after firecrackers were thrown on the pitch.

Montpellier, the last club to win the title before PSG claimed it four seasons in a row, showed clinical efficiency to convert its three shots on target. Third-placed PSG, which missed the chance to move top, had a lackluster first half and was made to pay for its poor defending after the interval.

Paul Lasne opened the scoring in the 42nd minute, Ellyes Skhiri made it 2-0 just after halftime and Ryad Boudebouz compounded PSG’s humiliation.

“The truth is that we didn’t deserve to win this game. We played badly, we were never in the game,” PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi said. “We lost the match before the match had kicked off. The players weren’t at it.”

It was Montpellier’s first win over the capital city club in 13 league matches, with its previous success dating back to May 2010. The win lifted the southern club five points clear of the relegation zone.

In a first half with few chances for both sides, PSG forward Edinson Cavani made only eight touches as Montpellier showed solid defending. The home side converted its first opportunity when Lasne took advantage of a lapse in the PSG defense, which failed to clear a long ball. Lasne beat Alphonse Areola with a lob from inside the area after the PSG ‘keeper came out late.

Montpellier doubled its lead three minutes into the second half after Morgan Sanson showed his dribbling skills down the left side of the box and set up Skhiri with a cutback pass. The 21-year-old midfielder perfectly opened his right foot on the ball and fired a curling shot from the edge of the area past Areola.

PSG pushed hard to reduce the gap but Montpellier goalkeeper Laurent Pionnier enjoyed a commanding afternoon, successfully denying attempts from Angel Di Maria and Lucas.

Layvin Kurzawa and Di Maria then combined well on the left side to set up Blaise Matuidi, only for the midfielder to send the ball over the bar in the 68th minute.

With 10 minutes left to play, PSG was caught on the counterattack and Boudebouz found the net with a low shot from distance after a long run down the pitch.

PSG has already lost three league matches, one more than all of last season.

___

MATCH ABANDONED

Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes was taken to the hospital feeling dizzy on Saturday after firecrackers were thrown during a French league game at Metz, which was later abandoned.

The match was suspended after 30 minutes when Metz fans threw projectiles toward the Portuguese goalkeeper.

A first firecracker exploded next to Lopes, who was attended by teammates and members of Lyon’s medical staff. Another went off close to his feet as he lay on the pitch. The teams left the field and the match was later called off.

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas said Lopes had complained about head pain after the first explosion left him dizzy.

“This is an extremely rare and serious situation,” Aulas said, adding that the club’s doctor had been hurt too.

Metz had started well and opened the scoring through Gauthier Hein, who netted his first goal in the top flight with a strike into the top left corner moments before the game was brought to a halt.

The French league submitted the case to its disciplinary commission, warning that it will be “inflexible” in dealing with the issue.

___

MONACO 5, BASTIA 0

Radamel Falcao scored twice as Monaco moved top of the standings with a 5-0 thrashing of Bastia.

The Colombia striker took his league tally to seven goals after finding the net twice in the space of six minutes.

Monaco was already leading 2-0 with goals from Kylian Mbappe and Thomas Lemar when Falcao scored with a shot under the bar in the 68th minute. He completed his brace with a right-footed volley.

Guido Carrillo also scored for Monaco, which is level on 36 points with Nice but tops the standings on goal difference.

Nice hosts Toulouse on Sunday.

___

OTHER RESULTS

In other games Saturday, Angers and Lorient drew 2-2, while Lille grabbed a 1-0 victory at Bordeaux.

Guingamp defeated Nantes 2-0.


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