Marseille lose unbeaten run after Nantes defeat


Marseille (AFP) – Marseille’s 14-match unbeaten run in Ligue 1 came to an end on Saturday after they fell to a surprise 3-1 home defeat by off-form Nantes.

Andre Villas-Boas’s second-placed side have put themselves in a strong position to qualify for the Champions League next season thanks to their hot streak but were downed by goals either side of half-time by Anthony Limbombe and Abdoul Kader Bamba and a late Alvaro own goal at the Stade Velodrome.

They stay 11 points clear of third-placed Rennes, who host Nimes on Sunday, but Lille can move to within nine points of Marseille with a win over rock-bottom Toulouse later on Saturday.

The defeat also means Paris Saint-Germain can move 13 points clear at the top if they beat Bordeaux at the Parc des Princes on Sunday.

Nantes meanwhile climb to 10th, just three points from the European places, after bagging their first win in six league matches.

Limbombe stunned the Velodrome when he stopped to head home Bamba’s cross in the 35th minute in what was the game’s first shot on target, but the hosts reacted positively to going a goal down and were level shortly after.

First Nantes goalkeeper Alban Lafont was forced into a smart save from Valentin Rongier’s long-range drive a minute after Limbombe’s opener, but the Frenchman couldn’t stop Sanson’s curling effort three minutes later.

The away side were back ahead again seven minutes after the break when Bamba pounced on Rongier losing the ball to curl home a stunning finish that was only confirmed as a goal after a long VAR check.

However there was no response from Marseille this time despite the return of star man Dimitri Payet from injury, and Nantes sealed the win in stoppage time in comical fashion.

Steve Mandanda spilled Moses Simon’s shot to Bamba, who failed to control the rebound and instead sent it bouncing off the legs of unwitting Marseille defender Alvaro and into the net.

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