PARIS (AP) — Lens punished Marseille to end its losing streak, winning 1-0 with a late shot to move into second place in the French league on Saturday.
At the Stade Veldrom with Marcel well on top and Lens pinned back, midfielder Mathieu Guinduzzi found himself in a scoring position on the right side of the penalty area. But he took a touch too much and squandered a good chance.
Soon after, the visitors broke the ground and the goal fell to midfielder David Pereira da Costa, whose shot ricocheted off the leg of defender Leonardo Alardi and bounced past goalkeeper Pau Lopez in the 78th minute.
Lens moved into second place, one point above Lorient – which secures automatic entry into the Champions League – and five points behind unbeaten league leaders Paris Saint-Germain.
Marseille remain in fourth place after their third consecutive defeat and are just two points ahead of Rennes and Monaco, who play on Sunday.
“Of course we could have won. We should have won,” midfielder Valentin Rongier told Canal Plus TV. “We should have scored twice tonight.”
Marseille midfielder Amin Harith forced a save from Lens goalkeeper Brice Samba in the first half.
Midway through the second period Marseille centre-back Chancelle Mombeba should have done better than shoot straight at Samba from close range. Marseille almost paid the price when, moments later, Lens captain Siko Fofana made a low save from Lopez.
Elsewhere, former France coach Laurent Blanc picked up his first win since taking over at Lyon, thanks to striker Alexandre Lacazette’s 90th-minute goal in a 2-1 win over Montpellier, where Blanc First made his name as an attacking midfielder.
Lacazette scored with a powerful low shot inside the post after being set up by midfielder Maxence Cockret.
Both sides finished with 10 men after Lyon defender Senali Diomonde and Montpellier striker Steffi Mavedi were both sent off in the 74th minute following a foul by Diomond and a heated altercation between them.
Lyon midfielder Hussim Ouar opened the scoring with his first goal of the season in the 33rd, but 19-year-old striker Eli Wah equalized for the home side in the 70th with a stunning bicycle kick from Jordan Ferry’s looping pass.
Lyon’s victory lifted it to eighth place.
PSG won 3-0 against Ajaccio on Friday, with Lionel Messi assisting Kylian Mbappe and Messi scoring twice.
Laurent is in mid-table Troyes, while fifth-placed Rennes travel to play 19th-placed Ingersoll.
Canadian striker Jonathan David will be looking to add to his tally of nine league goals when the Lille side host sixth-placed Monaco.