Marseille strengthens hold on 2nd place in French league


Marseille, March 6 (BNA): Defender Said Kolasinac scored the winning goal Sunday as Marseille beat Rennes 1-0 to seal their seventh straight away win in Ligue 1 and boost their bid for the Champions League next season.

Marseille traveled to Brittany on the back of their surprise elimination in the French Cup midweek against second-tier Annecy, which followed a bitter 3-0 defeat at home to Paris Saint-Germain that badly damaged their hopes of winning the league title. Leaders Paris Saint-Germain beat Nantes 4-2 on Saturday and move an eight-point lead over Marseille, the Associated Press reports.

The nine-time French champions broke Rennes’ solid defense in the 57th minute with a free kick that was quickly deflected by Valentin Rongier.

Cengiz Under volleyed in from the right and curled into the far corner behind the Rennes players for Kolasinac, who fired the ball past former Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda from close range.

Marseille increased their lead over third-placed Monaco and Lens to four points.

Ben Yedder’s weakness

Wissam Ben Yedder scored twice but was unable to prevent Monaco from drawing 2-2 at strugglers Troyes and dropping points in the race for the Champions League.

Monaco trailed 1-0 with 10 minutes left in Champagne after Rummenigge-Kwame put the hosts in the driver’s seat with a first-half goal before Ben Yedder struck twice in the space of four minutes.

Ben Yedder equalized in the 79th minute with a low left-footed shot, then doubled his tally from Aleksandr Golovin’s cross. Ben Yedder’s 16th goal of the season was initially disallowed, but eventually given after a VAR check.

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Only Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe, who tops the league’s top scorer list with 18 goals, has scored more than Ben Yedder in Ligue 1 this season.

Monaco were unable to maintain their lead and conceded in stoppage time as Ike Ogbo was left unmarked near the goal and headed home past goalkeeper Alexander Noble. Troyes remained in 19th place.

Montpellier Revived

Montpellier’s revival continued under coach Michel Der Zakarian as the bottom-placed southern club thrashed Angers 5-0.

Coming back from suspension, playmaker Tigi Savanier scored a brace to move Montpellier eight points clear of the relegation zone after Wehbi Khazri broke the deadlock in the first minute.

Montpellier is now unbeaten in four matches.

Dir Zakarian replaced Roman Betaou last month.

CAJUSTE AMAZING

As Reims and Ajaccio looked to be heading for a goalless draw, Jens Cagoste delighted the home crowd in injury time with a right-footed strike from outside the box that finished in the top right corner for a 1-0 win.

Reims has been thriving under head coach Will Steele. They are now unbeaten in their last 18 league matches and are eighth in the table.

Other results

Franck Honorat scored the only goal in Brest’s 1-0 win over Strasbourg, while Clermont recorded their first win in seven matches, beating Toulouse 1-0 away from home.

Midfielder Ryan Cherky, a European footballer, created several chances for Lyon but was unable to break through the 0-0 draw with Lorient as goalkeeper Vito Mannion made five saves.

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