PARIS, Jan 13 (Reuters) - Valere Germain scored one and set up another as Olympique de Marseille stayed in the hunt for second place in Ligue 1 when they beat Stade Rennais away 3-0 in a highly-charged game on Saturday.
Local newspaper Ouest France reported clashes between fans prior to the game, which was then interrupted for a few minutes because of lit flares.
Marseille prevailed through goals by Germain, Morgan Sanson and Florian Thauvin, exposing the home defence’s weaknesses.
The Provence side are fourth with 41 points from 20 matches, level on points with Monaco and Olympique Lyonnais, who both have a game in hand and trail runaway leaders Paris St Germain by nine points.
Thauvin saw his penalty kick in the 28th minute saved by Tomas Koubek, but Marseille were soon rewarded for their early domination.
In the 35th minute, Thauvin’s through ball was collected in the box by Germain, who coolly slotted it past Koubek to open the scoring.
Sanson doubled the tally on the stroke of halftime with a fine half-volley on the turn from Germain’s perfect cross.
Thauvin wrapped it up seven minutes from time as he headed home from Luiz Gustavo’s teasing cross from the left. (Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Christian Radnedge)