Monaco beats Lorient to keep pressure on Marseille
PARIS (AP) — Club-record signing Vitinha scored his first two goals for Marseille as the southern club beat struggling Troyes 3-1 to move one point above Lens and into second place in the French league on Sunday.
Marseille paid Portuguese club Braga 32 million euros ($34.8 million) for Vitinha in the January transfer window, but the 23-year-old player had not scored in his eight previous appearances since joining.
He took only two minutes to put Marseille ahead against Lorient at Stade Velodrome when he turned neatly and hit a shot under the crossbar.
Turkey winger Cengiz Ünder made it 2-0 in the 41st minute after captain Valentin Rongier won the ball and set him up, and Vitinha tapped home in the 64th after defender Sead Kolasinac's header against the post from a corner.
It was a relief for a Marseille side which has the best away form in the league, but had not won any of its last five league games at Stade Velodrome.
Earlier Sunday, Monaco pressured Marseille with a 3-1 home win over Lorient.
Monaco remains in fourth place, three points behind Marseille and two behind third-place Lens, in the race for a Champions League spot next season.
Second place secures automatic qualification and third earns a spot in the qualifying rounds.
Midfielders Krépin Diatta and Aleksandr Golovin scored in the first half for Monaco. Forward Kevin Volland made it 3-0 early in the second half before striker Ibrahima Koné replied for Lorient with a late penalty.
Meanwhile, Lille won 2-1 at home to Montpellier to reclaim fifth place from Rennes in the chase for a Europa League spot.
Montpellier led through defender Issiaga Sylla's goal midway through the first half. Lille equalized in the 70th thanks to Jonathan David's 20th league goal. It moved the Canada striker level at the top of the scoring charts with Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappé. Veteran winger Remy Cabella hit the winner for Lille three minutes later.
Auxerre eased its relegation worries by beating French Cup finalist Nantes 2-1 at home to move up to 14th place.
Nantes is 15th and only two points above the relegation zone. Coach Antoine Kombouaré was scathing about the attitude of his players, claiming their minds were on the cup final against Toulouse on April 29.
“Today the players weren't concerned about staying up ... they prefer that we're in a mess before they wake up," he told match broadcaster Amazon.
Kombouaré also used an expletive to describe his team.
Veteran striker Kevin Gameiro was among the scorers as Strasbourg beat 19th-place Ajaccio 3-1, but stayed in the relegation zone in 17th because Brest beat midtable Nice 1-0 at home to remain 16th.
Midtable Clermont beat last-place Angers 2-1 at home.
On Saturday, Mbappé's goal in leader PSG's 3-1 home win against Lens made him PSG's all-time leading scorer in the league with 139 goals.
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