Ligue 1: Marseille beat Monaco to move closer to top-placed PSG; Montpellier beat Lens

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

The Associated Press December 13, 2020 08:50:11 IST
Ligue 1: Marseille beat Monaco to move closer to top-placed PSG; Montpellier beat Lens

The Marseille team celebrate their side's first goal during game between Marseille and Monaco at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille. AP

Paris: Marseille moved on from a disappointing European campaign to continue its strong domestic form by beating Monaco 2-1 on Saturday.

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

Marseille has no European soccer to focus on after losing 3-0 at Manchester City on Wednesday and finishing last in its Champions League group, 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 its 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 has played one game less than PSG, which is 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 the 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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