PARIS (AP) — Monaco's improving form continued as coach Niko Kovac's side won 3-1 at Clermont to move up to eighth place in the French league on Sunday.
Strikers Wissam Ben Yedder and Kevin Volland grabbed a goal each in another boost for Kovac after Monaco's poor start to the season. Substitute Sofiane Diop added an injury-time third when he started and finished a move with a neat backheel flick.
Monaco’s third win in eight games moved it one place above defending champion Lille.
Tempers frayed at the end and there was some pushing and shoving between players and some staff members before calm was quickly restored.
Later Sunday, Marseille looked to move four points clear in second place with a home win against Lens at Stade Velodrome.
Promoted Clermont conceded six goals in a midweek defeat at Rennes but responded by scoring in the seventh minute through striker Mohamed Bayo, the second-tier’s top scorer with promoted Clermont last season.
Ben Yedder, who was Monaco’s top scorer last season with 20 league goals, equalized midway through the first half with a typically composed finish.
Central midfielder Youssouf Fofana looked angry after being taken off by Kovac after 37 minutes, removing his shirt and walking down the tunnel without looking at Kovac.
Bayo went close with a smart run and shot just over moments before the break. Monaco struck just after through the German striker Volland, who has two league goals after netting 17 last term.
Brazilian left back Caio Henrique set up both Monaco's goals.
After a narrow injury-time defeat to Paris Saint-Germain midweek, Metz won its first game of the season with a 2-1 victory at Brest.
Substitute Hugo Ekitike made it three goals in three games for midtable Reims. The 19-year-old winger came off the bench in the second half to net twice in a 3-1 home win against Nantes.
Promoted Troyes drew 1-1 at home to fourth-placed Angers, which needed another penalty from veteran midfielder Thomas Mangani to earn a point.
Striker Gaetan Laborde scored his second goal in as many games as Rennes drew 1-1 at lowly Bordeaux.
On Saturday, runaway leader PSG made it eight straight wins by beating Montpellier 2-0 at home.
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Jerome Pugmire, The Associated Press