Ligue 1

Ben Yedder scores twice as Monaco close in on Champions League return

Ben Yedder scores twice as Monaco close in on Champions League return

Monaco’s French forward Wissam Ben Yedder scored his 117th goal for the Ligue 1 club in all competitions (Valery HACHE)

Wissam Ben Yedder scored twice as Monaco beat Ligue 1 basement club Clermont 4-1 on Saturday to close in on a return to the Champions League.

The Principality side lost 3-2 to Lyon last weekend but ensured maximum points in their Louis II Stadium to consolidate second place with two games left this season.

Paris Saint-Germain have already been crowned champions and have the week off domestic duty.

Surprise package Brest remained in third after they were held 0-0 at home by Nantes in Saturday's late match.

In a four-way fight to qualify for next season's Champions League, Monaco have 61 points, four ahead of Brest with Lille on 55 and Nice on 51.

Lille can climb to third however when they welcome in-form Lyon to the Stade Pierre-Mauroy on Monday.

While Monaco took a giant step towards playing in the Champions League for the first time since the 2018-2019 season, Clermont are virtually doomed for a return to Ligue 2.

Takumi Minamino got the hosts off the mark after a poor Maximiliano Caufriez clearance allowed the Japanese international to curl his eighth goal of the season into the top corner after quarter of an hour.

Pascal Gastien's Clermont fought back with Muhammed Cham pulling the visitors level after 34 minutes.

But just three minutes later Ben Yedder set up Breel Embolo for his first goal of the season on the Swiss player's first start this campaign after a serious knee injury.

The Monaco captain slotted in his team's third goal on 57 minutes, adding his second of the night with three minutes to go for his 117th club goal in all competitions.

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