A goal eight minutes from time by Olivier Giroud gave Montpellier a narrow 1-0 win at Nice and pushed them into pole position on the Ligue 1 table. Giroud came on as a substitute with a quarter of an hour remaining and eight minutes later scored the matchwinner when he powered home a diving header.
Montpellier attacked from the outset, Joris Marveaux forcing David Ospina into a decent save after shooting from the edge of the area in the 10th minute. The visitors maintained their pressure and a minute later Hasan Kabze lobbed Ospina only for Renato Civelli to clear off the line with the same player then denied by Ospina after he met Geoffrey Dernis' free-kick with a header.
Nice then created an opening but Geoffrey Jourdren pulled off a superb save from Emerse Fae's header. The visitors continued to pressurise, Karim Ait Fana sending in a shot on target which Ospina blocked before Civelli cleared for a corner. The goalkeeper was in inspired form and produced a reflex save from Souleymane Camara but Nice almost took the lead on half-time when Kafoumba Coulibaly unleashed a powerful shot which Jourdren just managed to keep out.
Francois Clerc headed inches wide for Nice before Kabze missed what seemed a certain goal when he had only Ospina to beat. Ospina continued to repel the visitors, this time thwarting an Ait Fana shot. However, with just eight minutes to go he was finally beaten. Marco Estrada found Giroud with a throw in and the substitute rose at the far post to score what proved to be the winning goal with a diving header.