Paris (AFP) – Florian Thauvin starred as Marseille moved second in Ligue 1 after cruising to a 3-0 victory at lowly Metz on Wednesday, while Lyon lost to managerless Lille and Monaco were beaten at Nantes.
Rudi Garcia’s Marseille are now unbeaten in 10 league games and seven points adrift of rivals and league leaders Paris Saint-Germain, who host Troyes later on Wednesday.
Lyon and Monaco sit two points further behind with Bruno Genesio’s men third, above the champions on goal difference.
Thauvin opened the scoring in the 18th minute at bottom club Metz, who still only have four points this season.
The 24-year-old persevered to cut inside his marker, before curling an excellent finish into the far corner for his seventh league goal of the season.
Brazilian international midfielder Luiz Gustavo took advantage of some woeful Metz defending to make it two before half-time, and Argentinian winger Lucas Ocampos rounded off a comfortable win with 19 minutes to play.
Lille claimed a shock 2-1 away victory over in-form Lyon in their second game since suspending head coach Marcelo Bielsa, as home skipper Nabil Fekir missed a second-half penalty on his return from illness.
Lille winger Thiago Mendes produced a wonderful individual goal in the 21st minute to put Lyon’s 12-match unbeaten run under threat, as he jinked into space and bent a left-footed strike into the top corner.
But the hosts didn’t waste much time in drawing level, as Mariano Diaz beat Lille goalkeeper Mike Maignan to Tanguy Ndombele’s cross and headed in his 10th Ligue 1 goal since joining Lyon from Real Madrid.
Struggling Lille hit back, though, to retake the lead in the 40th minute as Kevin Malcuit’s simple right-wing cross picked out an unmarked Ezequiel Ponce to nod home.
Lyon were given a chance to equalise again shortly after the break, but captain Fekir’s weak penalty was saved by Maignan.
Mendes should have put the game to bed when he volleyed wide with the goal at his mercy, but Lille held on for a much-needed win that dragged them out of the bottom two and into the relegation playoff spot.
Reigning champions Monaco suffered a third straight defeat in all competitions as Claudio Ranieri’s Nantes grabbed a 1-0 win with an injury-time winner.
Looking to bounce back from their 2-1 loss to PSG at the weekend, Monaco were hit by a sucker-punch as full-back Lima drilled in from the edge of the area in the third minute of added time.
Mario Balotelli’s penalty helped 10-man Nice come from behind to win 2-1 at Toulouse, as Tunisian Bassem Srarfi’s last-gasp strike pulled the away side clear of the relegation zone.
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