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Marseille start fast to beat Monaco and rise to second

Paris (AFP) – Marseille climbed to second in Ligue 1 on Saturday after scoring twice in the first 13 minutes and resisting late pressure to beat Monaco 2-1.

Marseille slumped out of Europe on Wednesday after a disastrous Champions League campaign but this was their sixth straight Ligue 1 victory.

With coach Andre Villas-Boas absent, suspended after receiving a red card on the bench in the game against Nimes last Friday, Marseille pounced on two early turnovers by Monaco. 

After Monaco gave the ball away on the edge of their box in the fifth minute, Dario Benedetto burst down the left edge of the penalty area and chipped the ball to the far post where Florian Thauvin headed in.

Eight minutes later, after Marseille won the ball back in the Monaco half, Thauvin returned the favour. He swung in a left-foot cross from the right which Argentine Benedetto, running in unmarked, volleyed home.

As Monaco pressed in the second half, Thauvin dropped into his own penalty and conceded a 78th minute penalty with a dangerous high challenge on Wissam Ben Yedder.

Ben Yedder sent Steve Mandanda the wrong way from the spot kick, but the Marseille goalkeeper dealt serenely with Monaco’s desperate attempts in the closing minutes.

Marseille leapfrogged Lille and Lyon to move into second, one-point behind Paris Saint-Germain.

On Sunday, PSG entertain Lyon after Lille host Bordeaux, but Marseille will end the weekend with two games in hand on all three.

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