Ligue 1: Lyon draw with Nice after Benzema celebrates Ballon d'Or display

Ligue 1: Lyon draw with Nice after Benzema celebrates Ballon d’Or display

LYON, France (AP) — Karim Benzema returned to action and Alexandre Lacazette’s late penalty salvaged a 1-1 draw for Lyon against Nice to keep his side just ahead of the visitors in the French league on Friday.

Former Lyon forward Benzema, who now plays for Real Madrid, was given a hero’s welcome as he presented his Ballon d’Or to the home fans before kick-off.

Lacazette curled in the spot kick as the Lyon supporters behind the goal were already celebrating the goal with a huge display of red pyrotechnics.

But the decision to award the penalty was debatable as television review showed Lacazette was already off balance and had fallen before the alleged contact from Jean-Clair Todibo. Protests by Tudebo and fellow defender Dante were dismissed.

It looked like Nicolas Pepe’s first half penalty would be enough for Nice.

The visitors missed early scoring chances with Pep having a goal ruled out for offside and Sofiane Diop firing over from a good position.

Nicolas Tagliafico conceded a penalty for handball but Pep saved his spot kick from Anthony Lopez. However, Lopes was penalized for going off his line and Pep got a second chance to break the deadlock in the 38th.

Pep flashed a shot wide of the far post early in the second half then Lyon finally started to threaten.

Lacazette’s late penalty took his tally to nine this season for Lyon. This kept Lyon eighth, one point ahead of Nick.

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