November 25, 2018 / 10:56 PM / 17 days ago

Soccer-Thauvin treble sees Marseille home in on Ligue 1 top four

PARIS, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Olympique Marseille closed in on the Ligue 1 top four with a Florian Thauvin hat-trick earning them a 3-1 win at struggling Amiens on Sunday while Montpellier and Lille both slipped up.

The win lifted Marseille two places up to fifth on 25 points from 14 games, one behind third-placed Lille and fourth-placed Montpellier.

Lille were beaten 2-0 at Nice while Montpellier were held to a 2-2 home draw by Rennes, allowing Olympique Lyonnais to stay second on 27 points — 15 behind champions and leaders Paris St Germain, who have won all their 14 games.

Thauvin carved out his memorable treble for Marseille after Bakaye Dibassy had given 16th-placed Amiens an early lead.

He put the visitors level in the 26th minute after good work by Morgan Sanson, fired them ahead in the 80th minute from a free kick and then sealed the win in stoppage time after team mate Dimitri Payet had missed a penalty.

Two goals by Montpellier’s Andy Delort cancelled out Hatem Ben Arfa’s fifth-minute opener for Rennes but the visitors salvaged a point thanks to a 71st-minute penalty from Benjamin Bourigeaud.

Mario Balotelli set up Wylan Cyprien to fire Nice ahead against Lille in the 25th minute and Allan Saint-Maximin wrapped up the contest with a clinical finish in the closing stages. (Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Ian Chadband)

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