2016-17 French Ligue 1, Regular Season
  • Mickaël Le Bihan (35')
  • Jean Michaël Seri (51' PEN, 84')
  • Maurice Dalé (26')

Nice book Champions League place with win over Nancy

Nice celebrate after Jean Michel Seri scored. YANN COATSALIOU/AFP/Getty Images

Nice confirmed they will finish in at least third place in Ligue 1 after dispatching Nancy 3-1 at Allianz Riviera -- guaranteeing their best league performance for 40 years.

A 21st win of the campaign keeps up the pressure on the top two of Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain, with fourth-placed Lyon now unable to catch them.

Nancy took advantage of some comically poor defending to seize a 27th-minute lead, the home side's inability to deal with a routine corner enabling Maurice Dale to tap home from close range.

But 10 minutes before half-time Nice replied when Younes Belhanda showed persistence and extraordinary skill to thread a pass through the heart of the visiting defence.

There was still plenty for Mickael Le Bihan to do, but he expertly evaded one tackle and directed the ball past Guy Ndy Assembe.

A foul by Issiar Dia on Dalbert Henrique resulted in a penalty that Jean Michael Seri drilled down the middle to seize a 2-1 lead, before the Ivorian midfielder ended Nancy's resistance in the 86th minute.

Valentin Eysseric put him through on goal and he made no mistake as he found the far corner of the net.

It means Nice will at the very least play in the qualifying rounds of the Champions League next season.