Pierre Lees-Melou's goal in the second half handed OGC Nice all three points against Amiens SC at the Allianz Riviera and strengthened their grip on sixth place.
OGC Nice 1 - 0 Amiens SC
Lucien Favre's side were bidding to bounce back after being eliminated from both domestic cup competitions over the last week, although their visitors were in the same boat. Nice's Ligue 1 Conforama form had been by far the more convincing prior to the winter break, though, and with home advantage they were the clear favourites here.
Nevertheless, with top scorer Mario Balotelli only on the bench at kick-off, Les Aiglons toiled to break down the Amiens defence and it was the away side who had the best chance in the first half. Amiens won possession back in midfield and Emmanuel Bourgaud found himself through on goal, only to be denied by Walter Benítez.
No doubt stung by the words of their coach at half-time, Nice began the second period strongly and Lees-Melou was denied by Jean-Christophe Bouet within a minute of the restart.
Bouet was making his top-flight debut at the age of 34 in the absence of the suspended Regis Gurtner and he was finally beaten in the 66th minute. Fine play from Allan Saint-Maximin on the left set up the chance, with his pass inside finding Lees-Melou, whose shot from just inside the area took a deflection off Khaled Adenon and went in off the bar.
Balotelli then came on for Bassem Srarfi, but it was Lees-Melou who came closest to adding to Nice's lead. One goal was enough, though, for the home side. Amiens have now lost five games in a row in all competitions, failing to score a single goal in that run.
THE PLAYER: Pierre Lees-Melou
A third goal of the campaign for Lees-Melou, who is an ever-present in the league for Lucien Favre's side following his summer move from Dijon FCO.
THE STAT: 6
It has been a campaign of ups and downs for Nice, but they are unbeaten in six Ligue 1 Conforama games now, with 16 points from a possible 18 since losing 5-0 at home to Olympique Lyonnais on November 26. They continue to put pressure on FC Nantes in fifth.