Paris (AFP) – Marseille moved back up to second place in Ligue 1 as a 2-0 win at Strasbourg on Sunday saw them climb above Rennes, who were beaten at home by Nice earlier.
Young Senegalese striker Bamba Dieng put Marseille ahead in Alsace with an acrobatic volleyed finish just after the hour, and Duje Caleta-Car headed in a Dimitri Payet corner late on to seal the points.
Marseille are 10 points behind runaway leaders Paris Saint-Germain, who can go further clear when they host Monaco in Sunday’s late match.
Earlier, Kasper Dolberg scored one goal and set up another as Nice won 2-1 at Rennes in a clash between two clubs with Champions League ambitions.
Rennes, who are owned by one of France’s richest men, Francois Pinault, are looking to return to the Champions League after appearing in the group stage for the first time last season.
They came into the weekend in second place, four points clear of Nice, themselves owned by Ineos, the petrochemicals group chaired by British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe.
Nice, managed by Christophe Galtier, the man who led Lille to last season’s title, started the campaign strongly before stumbling in recent weeks but they went ahead in Brittany when Dolberg converted a 19th-minute penalty awarded for a foul on Dante.
Denmark striker Dolberg then teed up Youcef Atal to score the second in the 51st minute with a superb effort from a tight angle.
Benjamin Bourigeaud pulled one back for Rennes but Nice held on to close to within a point of third-place Rennes in the table.
Reigning champions Lille, fresh from qualifying for the last 16 of the Champions League, were held to a 0-0 draw at home by Lyon, a result which leaves the two clubs still adrift in mid-table.
Lyon last week had a point deducted as a punishment for the trouble that led to November’s game against Marseille being abandoned after Payet was hit on the head by a bottle.
Also on Sunday, there were wins for struggling trio Bordeaux, Clermont and Metz.
Metz hammered Lorient 4-1 to climb above their opponents and out of the bottom two.
Saint-Etienne, who sacked manager Claude Puel last weekend, remain rooted to the foot of the table after losing 2-0 at Reims on Saturday.