Dijon get boost with Nice win
Julio Tavares scored twice as Dijon FCO came from behind to beat OGC Nice 3-2 on Saturday and give the Ligue 1 Conforama strugglers a potentially vital three points.
Dijon FCO 3-2 OGC Nice
After successive defeats, Nice were seeking a return to winning ways to reinflate their flagging hopes of finishing in the top five. Mario Balotelli's qualities can certainly help them, and the Italy striker forced Baptiste Reynet into an early save (5').
Balotelli, who has 13 league strikes this season, was a constant source of danger to the hosts, and the former Manchester City and Liverpool striker might have spectacularly opened the scoring with a volley had he connected cleanly with Marlon Santos' ball forward (39').
No goals at the break, but the glut was about to come. Tavares latched onto a Naim Sliti knockdown to shoot against the crossbar (47') and set the tone for a frantic six minutes.
Tavares kicked them off, sidefooting past Walter Benitez top put Dijon ahead (61') only for former Dijon man Pierre Lees-Melou to level (65') and then Alassane Plea — with his sixth league strike of the campaign — to put Lucien Favre's men in the box seat (67').
Eleven minutes was all their lead lasted though as Malang Sarr's ill-advised challenge on Cédric Yambere led to referee Nicolas Rainville pointing to the spot and Tavares tucked away the penalty (78').
With Nice crestfallen, Dijon pounced. Benjamin Jeannot found Changhoon Kwon on the left, and the South Korean fired beyond Benitez for his first league goal since late November (84') to lift his club six points clear of the bottom three ahead of Sunday's matches.
THE PLAYER: Julio Tavares
The Cape Verdean can be one of Ligue 1 Conforama's most unplayable men when he is in the mood as Nice — unfortunately for them — found out. He has now got nine league goals in 15 games, as many as he scored in 35 matches last season when Loïs Diony was Dijon's main man in front of goal.
THE STAT: 5
Tavares has scored five of Dijon's last eight league goals.