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Marseille beats Lorient in stoppage time, rival Rennes wins

April 17, 2021 GMT
Marseille's Pol Lirola passes the ball during the French League One soccer match between Marseille and Dijon at the Stade Veledrome stadium in Marseille, France, Sunday, April 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)
Marseille's Pol Lirola passes the ball during the French League One soccer match between Marseille and Dijon at the Stade Veledrome stadium in Marseille, France, Sunday, April 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)

PARIS (AP) — Spanish right back Pol Lirola grabbed his second goal during injury time as Marseille beat Lorient 3-2 at home on Saturday to maintain its push for a Europa League place next season.

Rennes won 3-0 at midtable Angers in the early French league game to join Marseille and rival Lens in the hunt for fifth place with five games left.

Sixth-place Marseille moved level on points with fifth-place Lens, which is away to Brest on Sunday, while Rennes is one point behind Marseille in seventh.

Lorient is 17th, but has much improved in recent weeks and faced a side missing central defenders Alvaro Gonzalez and Duje Caleta-Car through suspension.

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That weakness showed on both Lorient goals, which were scored on counterattacks and expertly finished by Nigerian striker Terem Moffi from Yoane Wissa’s astute passes.

After Moffi put the visitors 1-0 up at Stade Velodrome in the 18th minute, playmaker Dimitri Payet equalized in the 52nd with a superb right-foot volley from 20 meters after striker Arkadiusz Milik headed the ball sideways to him.

Winger Florian Thauvin set up Lirola with a pass behind the defense and he finished confidently from 10 meters out in the 55th. But Thauvin’s wild pass from the right flank was intercepted by Wissa in midfield, and he advanced half the field before setting up Moffi’s 11th goal of the season.

In the day’s other game, a vastly improving Rennes made it 13 points from five matches under its new coach Bruno Genesio, who previously managed Lyon before trying his luck in the Chinese Super League with Beijing Guoan.

Striker Stephane Bahoken thought he had given Angers the lead in the 44th minute, but his effort was ruled out when a video replay spotted a foul on the goalkeeper beforehand.

Moments later, teenage forward Jeremy Doku put Rennes in front when he cut inside from the left, swapped passes with winger Martin Terrier, and fired into the bottom corner.

It was the 18-year-old Belgium forward’s second league goal since joining from Anderlecht for 26 million euros ($31 million).

Terrier made it 2-0 midway through the second half when he turned in Flavien Tait’s pass, and substitute striker Serhou Guirassy wrapped it up in injury time.

TITLE RACE

Defending champion Paris Saint-Germain hosts Saint-Etienne at Sunday lunchtime, while title rivals Monaco and Lyon are away from home.

A victory will move PSG one point behind league leader Lille, which drew 1-1 against Montpellie r on Friday.

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But PSG will be without several important players against Saint-Etienne, which has found some form to move up to 13th place.

Star forward Neymar is suspended, as are central midfielders Leandro Paredes and Idrissa Gueye. Central defenders Marquinhos and Abdou Diallo are both injured, while standout goalkeeper Keylor Navas is resting a sore shoulder.

Third-place Monaco travels to play struggling Bordeaux, while fourth-place Lyon completes the day at 19th-place Nantes.

Lyon is one point behind Monaco and two behind PSG.

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