Atal's strike helps Nice end Ligue 1 winless run at Lens

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Youcef Atal - Nice
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The Algerian full-back grabbed the only goal that separated both teams at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis on Saturday

Youcef Atal powered Nice to a 1-0 win over Lens with his second-half strike in Saturday's Ligue 1 encounter.

The Algeria international found the back of the net in the 49th minute for his maiden strike in the 2020-21 league season and his first league goal since September 2019 when he scored the winner in Nice's 2-1 victory over Dijon.

Shortly after he broke the deadlock at Lens, Atal was replaced by Jordan Lotomba as he appeared to have picked up an injury while celebrating his goal.

Injury problems have limited the 24-year-old to 10 league outings in this campaign having recently recovered from a thigh muscle strain and coronavirus infection.

Nice held on to victory which ended their five-game winless streak in the French top-flight with their last league win dating back to December 16 when they defeated Nimes 2-0.

Atal's compatriot Hichem Boudaoui was also in action for Adrian Ursea's side alongside the Gambia's Hassane Kamara who played from start to finish.

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Lens, on the other hand, had a host of African stars on parade including Cape Verde's Steven Fortes, DR Congo's Gael Kakuta, Cameroon's Ignatius Ganago,  Mali's Cheick Doucoure and Ivory Coast's Seko Fofana.

Nice rose to 13th in the Ligue 1 table following the victory with 26 points from 20 matches while Lens dropped to seventh with 31 points from 21 games.

The Eagles host Saint-Etienne for their next league outing at the Allianz Riviera on January 31.

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