LOSC Lille Métropole strengthened their hand in the race for France's two remaining UEFA Champions League places with a dramatic 3-2 victory against newly-crowned champions Olympique de Marseille.
With OM having won the title on Wednesday, attention switched to the four clubs – Lille, AJ Auxerre, Olympique Lyonnais and Montpellier Hérault SC – directly below Didier Deschamps's team. Lille ended the day as they started it, in second and in line to join OM in next season's group stage, but are two points better off after a late comeback against their ten-man visitors.
Yohan Cabaye's spot-kick cancelled out Mamadou Niang's early opener for Marseille after goalkeeper Steve Mandanda was sent off on 25 minutes. Although Hilton restored OM's lead, Tulio De Melo equalised with nine minutes and Mathieu Debuchy won it for Lille deep in added time.
Lille lead third-placed Auxerre, who drew 0-0 with RC Lens, by two points and Lyon and Montpellier by four. Lyon drew 2-2 at mid-table Valenciennes FC but their disappointment at failing to record a victory will be eased slightly by the knowledge that they will climb to third if they defeat AS Monaco FC in their game in hand on Wednesday.
Montpellier, meanwhile, consolidated fifth spot thanks to first-half penalties from Víctor Montaño and Souleymane Camara which secured a 2-1 defeat of FC Lorient. Third place leads to a UEFA Champions League play-off place and UEFA Europa League berths go to the next two teams.
One of those could be outgoing champions FC Girondins de Bordeaux as Wendel and Benoît Trémoulinas earned them a 2-0 triumph against FC Sochaux-Montbéliard and they are within two points of Lyon and Montpellier. French Cup winners Paris Saint-Germain FC lost 1-0 at relegated Le Mans UC 72 while Monaco, defeated by the capital club in last week's showpiece, held on for a 2-1 win against AS Nancy-Lorraine despite Vincent Muratori's dismissal.
Elsewhere, Toulouse FC won 1-0 at AS Saint-Etienne, Stade Rennais FC and OGC Nice drew 2-2 and Danijel Ljuboja scored twice as bottom club Grenoble Foot 38 prevailed in a fixture between two the three Ligue 2-bound teams, defeating US Bolougne 2-0.
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|Last updated: 02/07/2011 04:32 CET|
Adriano Pereira 25
Alonso 32 (p)