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Marseille, Montpellier close in on PSG

Marseille moved on from a disappointing Champions League campaign to continue their strong domestic form by beating Monaco 2-1 on Saturday.

Marseille moved up to second in the French Ligue 1, one point behind defending champion Paris Saint-Germain.

Marseille have no European soccer to focus on after losing 3-0 at Manchester City on Wednesday and finishing last in their group and failing to qualify for the Europa League.

Winger Florian Thauvin and striker Dario Benedetto grabbed the goals at Stade de Velodrome to put some pressure on PSG ahead of their home game against 10-game unbeaten Lyon on Sunday.

Thauvin headed home from Benedetto’s left wing cross in the fifth minute, and Benedetto turned in Thauvin’s cross from the right eight minutes later.

The only sour note for Marseille was when key midfielder Morgan Sanson limped off with a left-ankle problem midway through the first half.

Striker Wissam Ben Yedder pulled a late goal back for Monaco from the penalty spot.

Marseille have played one game less than PSG, who are through to the knockout stage of the Champions League.

In the day’s other game, Montpellier went above Monaco and into fifth place with a 3-2 win at Lens.

Montpellier welcomed back top scorer Andy Delort after he recovered from testing positive for coronavirus for the second time, but it was strike partner Stephy Mavididi putting the visitors ahead in the 15th minute.

Center half Pedro Mendes made it 2-0 in the 25th, before Montpellier goalkeeper Jonas Omlin inadvertently scored an own-goal 10 minutes later when Seko Fofana’s shot struck the post and then hit Omlin’s back before going in.

The Swiss goalkeeper then gave away a penalty when he fouled Fofana and Gael Kakuta equalized from the spot in the 49th.

Striker Gaetan Laborde headed Montpellier in front for good from a corner midway through the second half.

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