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Ladder-leading Nice held by Bastia

Press AssociationPress Association 27/11/2016

Nice missed out on the chance to restore a three-point lead at the top of Ligue 1 as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Bastia.

Despite taking the lead through Alassane Plea early on, Lucien Favre's side were pegged back on the hour mark thanks to Enzo Crivelli's fifth goal of the season.

The league leaders made a strong start with Plea looking to assert his authority on the game, forcing Bastia goalkeeper Jean-Louis Leca to turn an early effort from a tight angle away for a corner.

Little came from the resulting set piece but, when Nice were awarded a second bite at the cherry, Jean Michael Seri's perfect delivery was thumped home by the head of Plea to hand the hosts an early lead.

Plea could easily have doubled their advantage shortly afterwards when Abdoulaye Keita's error resulted in the in-form striker breaking clear but, after rounding Leca he was unable to finish.

A Yannick Cahuzac effort that flew over the crossbar after being teed-up by Crivelli was as good as it got for the Corsicans in the first half as Nice's slender lead remained intact at the break.

Bastia were rejuvenated after the interval and, after heading a decent chance wide of the target in the 55th minute, Crivelli struck on the hour to level up matters.

Cahuzac seemed destined to score after latching on to Mehdi Mostefa's through ball but, after Yoan Cardinale did superbly well to keep out his effort, Crivelli followed up to volley into the bottom corner.

Nice responded immediately and Valentin Eysseric saw his volley magnificently saved by Leca before Malang Sarr went even closer, his header coming back of the left-hand post as Bastia rode their luck.

The hosts should have claimed all three points late on when, with the goal at his mercy, Plea fired against the crossbar and with that wasted opportunity went Nice's chance of victory.

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