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Lille’s victory boosts Champions League hope


A DRAMATIC late comeback boosted Lille’s hopes of competing in the Champions League again next season.

Things did not look good for the hosts as champion, Marseille, led 2-1. But an 80th-minute goal from substitute Vinicius De Melo and a last-gasp Mathieu Debuchy effort sealed a 3-2 win at the Stadium Lille-Metropole.

Earlier, Mamadou Niang had given the visitors the lead and Vitorino restored the advantage on the stroke of half-time. Yohan Cabaye levelled from the spot just before the half-hour mark after Marseille’s goalkeeper Steve Mandanda had been dismissed for fouling Gervinho.

The victory for Rudi Garcia’s men gives them a two-point lead over Auxerre, which was held to a goalless draw by Lens, in the race for second place – with only one match remaining. At one stage of weekend, Lyon looked like it was going to be the real beneficiaries of the results, but had to settle for a point from a 2-2 draw at Valenciennes.

Kim Kallstrom gave it a 16th-minute lead but Johan Audel levelled the scores in the 71st minute and Renaud Cohade gave the home side the lead from the penalty spot eight minutes later. However, an injury-time own goal from substitute Bobo Balde gifted Lyon a point.

Montpellier is fifth after a 2-1 win over Lorient, with Victor Hugo Montano (28) and Souleymane Camara (42, penalty) putting it in control before Gregory Bourillon grabbed a consolation goal a minute from time. Second-half goals from Wendel (penalty) and Benoit Tremoulinas gave sixth-placed Bordeaux a 2-0 win over Sochaux.

Seventh-placed Monaco beat Nancy 2-1. Jordan Loties’ own goal gave the hosts the edge at the Stade Louis II and Moussa Maazou’s 58th-minute goal doubled the advantage before Andre Joel Sami replied for Nancy 15 minutes from time.

Jerome Leroy (60) and Sylvain Marveaux (66) were on target for Rennes in its 2-2 draw against Nice, for which Anthony Mounier (12) and Emerse Fae (77) netted, while Toulouse edged victory at St Etienne courtesy of Andre Pierre Gignac’s 62nd-minute strike.

PSG’s poor away record again cost it dear as it slipped to a 0-1 defeat at already-relegated Le Mans, while the clash of the bottom two – Grenoble and Boulogne – went the way of basement team, Grenoble, thanks to a goal in each half from Danijel Ljuboja.

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