PARIS (AP) — Third-placed Marseille won at Montpellier 2-1 for its third straight win in the French league on Monday.
Marseille’s confidence was high following a 6-1 home win against Toulouse, and left back Nuno Tavares scored in the 47th minute with a fine strike for his fifth goal of the campaign.
The lead was doubled when Marseille center half Chancel Mbemba pressured opposite defender Maxime Estève into an own goal in the 61st.
Tavares was sent off near the end to give Montpellier hope. Midfielder Téji Savanier scored a stoppage-time penalty but the home side ran out of time in a hectic finish.
Marseille remained four points behind second-placed Lens for the automatic Champions League spot and two ahead of fourth-placed Rennes, which beat Nice 2-1 at home with a last-gasp winner from winger Benjamin Bourigeaud.
Forward Martin Terrier put Rennes ahead after six minutes but midfielder Ross Barkley equalized in the 21st with a brilliant curling strike into the top right corner from outside the penalty area. Terrier was taken off on a stretcher late in the first half after injuring his right knee.
Lille stayed seventh after drawing with mid-table Reims 1-1.
Canada striker Jonathan David gave Lille the lead with his 10th league goal, but Swedish midfielder Jens Cajuste equalized.
After almost drawing at league leader Paris Saint-Germain last week, Strasbourg lost at home to Troyes 3-2.
PSG lost 3-1 at Lens on Sunday for its first defeat this season.
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