Marseille labor past Nimes 2-1 to move into Ligue 1 top four

Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-14 06:05:21|Editor: yan
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PARIS, April 13 (Xinhua) -- Marseille scored two quick goals in the second half to better Nimes 2-1 at home and provisionally climb to the fourth place in Ligue 1 on Saturday.

Despite seeing two goals ruled offside after the restart, Marseille, winless in previous three matches, established comfortable cushion through Valere Germain's header and Luiz Gustavo's lob. Teji Savanier scored a late penalty to get one back for Nimes.

Marseille's forward Mario Balotelli had to be substituted by Germain after 33 minutes of play as he appeared to suffer a minor injury. Gustavo left goalkeeper Paul Bernardoni stranded by sending a deflected strike, only to see it denied by the post in the 41st minute.

Nemanja Radonjic and Florian Thauvin had to cut short their celebration as both goals were denied by the flag for offside after the break.

Germain managed to move the hosts ahead with a powerful header on captain Dimitri Payet's corner in the 72nd minute.

Marseille could not expect better scenario when Gustavo registered a spectacular lob beyond Bernardoni just one minute later.

Savanier beat goalkeeper Steve Mandanda from the penalty spot due to Boubacar Kamara's handball with eight minutes from time.

Nimes had expected an equalizer in the dying moment. The match referee initially whistled for another spot kick four minutes into stoppage time when Marseille defender Bouna Sarr fell and handled the ball in his own box, while annulling it after checking VAR.

Marseille move past Saint-Etienne, who will take on Bordeaux on Sunday, to sit fourth with a five-point gap from Lyon.

Strasbourg and Guingamp shared points after a 3-3 thriller. Guingamp relinquished their lead twice before needing captain Jeremy Sorbon's late header to bag one point in their relegation battle.

Marcus Thuram headed home on Pedro Rebocho's free-kick delivery in the 37th minute, but it took the hosts only two minutes to level through Ludovic Ajorque's goal.

Guingamp went ahead again in the 63rd minute as Lucas Deaux scored at the far post. Their lead lasted six minutes this time. Cheick Traore failed to make a fine clearance, leaving Sanjin Prcic on position to fire a blast at target.

Strasbourg soon took the lead, when Ajorque poked home a fine delivery from Anthony Goncalves at the back post in the 73rd minute.

Resilient Guingamp firstly saw Thuram's header bounce off the crossbar, but Sorbon grabbed an equalizer in the same manner with three minutes remaining.

Caen conceded a 1-0 home defeat to Angers. Guingamp escape the bottom position to sit one point ahead of Caen.

Monaco forced a goalless draw with sixth-ranked Reims at home.

Paris Saint-Germain can effectively secure their sixth league title in seven seasons with a draw at second-placed Lille on Sunday.