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Subs strike late to send Marseille second


Paris (AFP) – Marseille jumped into second place in Ligue 1 on Tuesday as late goals from substitutes Clinton N’Jie and Dimitri Payet sealed a 2-0 home victory over Strasbourg.

Valere Germain saw a 72nd-minute penalty saved by Strasbourg goalkeeper Alexandre Oukidja, but N’Jie pounced to slam in with 11 minutes to play.

Payet finished off the victory with a brilliantly-taken goal late on to put the pressure on fellow Champions League hopefuls Monaco and Lyon.

Marseille are two points clear of Monaco and Lyon, ahead of the defending champions’ game against Nice later on Tuesday and Lyon’s trip to Guingamp on Wednesday.

But Rudi Garcia’s men are still nine points adrift of league leaders Paris Saint-Germain.

After a drab first half, Marseille threw on Payet and N’Jie, and the former found space inside the area to collect Florian Thauvin’s pass, before being clumsily brought down by Nuno da Costa.

Thauvin missed a spot-kick in Marseille’s 3-0 win at Rennes on Saturday, and he handed over penalty duties to Germain.

But the former Monaco forward produced a weak effort which was comfortably palmed away by Oukidja.

The hosts continued to push forwards though, and were rewarded for their pressure when former Tottenham Hotspur winger N’Jie reacted quickest after Germain saw a shot blocked to fire home his sixth league goal of the season.

Payet, who has struggled at times this term, finished off the win in style with a wonderful dummy to leave Oukidja on the floor, before rolling into an empty net.

It was only the 30-year-old’s third goal from 22 games this season in all competitions.

Elsewhere, Bordeaux slipped to a fifth defeat in six league games as they were beaten 2-0 by Caen.

Ivan Santini slotted in an 88th-minute penalty after Paul Baysse was sent off, with Rony Rodelin adding a second in injury-time.

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