Payet Stunner Puts Marseille Back In Ligue 1 Race As Moncao Continue Title Charge With Win Over Nantes
After hammering Nantes 4-0 at home, Leaders Monaco restored a three-point advantage, and Marseille gained back it’s winning ways after two agonizing losses as they eased past bottom side Lorient 4-1 in the 28th round of Ligue 1 action on Sunday.
Defending champions Paris Saint-Germain and Nice leveled with Monaco on points after recording a 1-0 victory over their respective relegation-threatened opponents on Saturday, while the pressure was comfortably handled by an offensive Monaco one day later, who had 78 goals in previous 27 rounds.
Even though their top scorer Radamel Falcao was sidelined due to muscle fatigue, Monaco still were able to take on promising youngster Kylian Mbappe’s fourth-minute goal for a solid start, before his partner up in front Valere Germain doubled the lead for his ninth goal of the campaign.
The French league leaders continued their attacking manner of play, as Mbappe’s header in stoppage time earned them a three-goal lead before the interval.
Penalty specialist Fabinho concluded Monaco’s sumptuous night on 59 minutes when he converted the 12-yard shot into his seventh goal in the league.
Meanwhile, Marseille made a strong comeback from their last weekend’s lopsided 5-1 loss to arch-rivals PSG and 4-3 extra-time defeat to Monaco in the French Cup last 16 at midweek.
Dimitri Payet netted his second after returning to Marseille in the winter transfer window midway through the first half, after centre-back Rolando’s header handed the visitors a comfortable lead as early as six minutes.
Florian Thauvin scored his eighth league goal on 53 minutes. Morgan Sanson added another agonizing finish for bottom-ranked Lorient, who might get a little consolation with their top scorer Benjamin Moukandjo’s goal with less than 20 minutes of play remaining.
Marseille moved up to sixth, still in contention for a Europa League berth next season, while Lorient were firmly restrained on their position with just 22 points from 28 games.
Also on Sunday, Toulouse extended their unbeaten run to six games as they were held by Lille 1-1 after Martin Braithwaite’s spot-kick was saved by Lille goalie Vincent Enyeama.
(With Inputs From Xinhua)