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Monaco put brakes on Marseille’s Champions League push

Paris (AFP) – Gelson Martins was in the right place at the right time to give Monaco a 1-0 Ligue 1 win over south coast rivals Marseille at a packed Velodrome stadium on Sunday.

The defeat means Marseille missed the chance to climb above Nice, who beat Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday in Ligue 1’s race for second place.

The Parisians top Ligue 1 on 62 points despite their loss at Nice as they turn their attention to a date with Real Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

Ambitious Nice are second on 49 with Marseille two points behind with Brittany outfit Rennes fourth on 46.

Monaco winger Martins was on the six-yard line as Kevin Volland’s snap-shot bounced off the post on 58 minutes.

“We wanted to put on a good show after the cup defeat in midweek,” Martins said of a French Cup semi-final defeat to Nantes.

Rennes recorded a fourth win in five games earlier Sunday with a 2-0 victory over Angers to keep the pressure on the clubs above them in the race for Champions League football.

Benjamin Bourigeaud and Gaetan Laborde scored at Roazhon Park as Bruno Genesio’s team moved to within a point of third-placed Marseille.

Strasbourg’s push for a top-three finish has been stalled by three successive draws, the latest a 1-1 stalemate after Sweden’s Jens-Lye Cajuste grabbed a late equaliser for Reims to cancel out a goal from Jean-Ricner Bellegarde.

Nantes followed up their midweek French Cup semi-final win over Monaco on penalties by beating Montpellier 2-0 through goals from Randal Kolo Muani and Willem Geubbels.

Lille thumped Clermont 4-0 with Jonathan David among the scorers, while Saint-Etienne climbed out of the relegation places thanks to Denis Bouanga’s strike in a 1-0 win over Metz.

Bottom club Bordeaux lost 2-0 at home to Troyes to leave them three points from safety and without a win in five games.

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