Ligue 1

Marseille downs champs Montpellier

Olympique Marseille's Andre-Pierre Gignac celebrates after scoring against Montpellier
Marseille's Andre-Pierre Gignac celebrates after scoring against Montpellier.
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Andre-Pierre Gignac's last-gasp strike helped Marseille get back to winning ways and keep in touch with Ligue 1 frontrunners Lyon as they beat Montpellier 3-2.

Marseille were left reeling when Andre Ayew's 15th-minute strike was immediately cancelled out by Emanuel Herrera before John Utaka gave Montpellier a shock lead just before the hour mark.

OM looked set for a second successive defeat - after a shock 3-1 loss against 10-man Sochaux last Sunday - but Jordan Ayew leveled proceedings in the 80th minute before Gignac completed the comeback in injury time.

Lorient moved into the top four after returning to winning ways with a 3-2 victory over Troyes - but they were given a scare by the struggling visitors.

Christian Gourcuff's men have been one of the surprise packages this term and looked firmly on course for victory thanks to first-half goals from Kevin Monnet-Paquet and Enzo Reale.

They were pegged back by Jeremie Brechet after the hour mark and although Gregory Bourillon restored the hosts' two-goal lead, Fabien Camus set up a tense finale with two minutes left.

The resilient visitors could not find a leveler, however, and they remain second from bottom - seven points adrift of safety - while Lorient continue to defy the odds and are still firmly in the hunt for a Europa League spot next season.

Brandao scored the only goal of the game as St Etienne completed a week that saw them book their first Stade de France final with a 1-0 victory at Brest.

Christophe Galtier's side beat Lille on penalties in midweek to book a Coupe de la Ligue final meeting with Rennes in Paris' famous stadium on April 20.

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There was no hangover from the celebrations of that success on Saturday night, however, as ASSE grabbed their first league win since November and moved back toward the European places.

For Brest it was a fourth successive home reverse and only their away form - they are unbeaten in six on their travels - has ensured they still hold a five-point buffer over the bottom three.

In the end they were unlucky not to snatch a point, with Eden Ben Basat's late drive deflected against a post, although they had been second best before Brandao's 50th-minute winner.

Nancy's survival hopes receded even further as the basement boys lost 2-1 at Toulouse.

Franck Tabanou's second-half brace put the mid-table hosts in control and, although Lossemy Karaboue halved the deficit two minutes from time, it was too little too late.

The loss means Nancy have still won just once in the league this season and are now eight points from safety.

Loic Poujol's close range goal gave Sochaux a 1-0 win over relegation rivals Reims - who remain without a Ligue 1 away success this season.

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Poujol settle the contest at the Stade Auguste Bonal in the 16th minute, converting an outswinging Rafael Dias corner at the far post after goalkeeper Johnny Placide had missed his chance to clear.

A second successive home success moves Eric Hely's team out of the bottom three at the expense of their opponents, who have now gone 14 matches without a win.

Opa Nguette grabbed a second-half equalizer for 10-man Valenciennes to claim a 1-1 draw with Ajaccio at Stade Francois Coty.

Adrian Mutu had given the relegation-threatened hosts the lead on the half-hour mark and things got worse for VA after the interval when defender Benjamin Angoua was sent off for a tackle from behind on the Romanian.

Mutu passed up the chance to make it 2-0 when his attempted cheeky chip from a penalty was saved by Nicolas Penneteau and the visitors went on to salvage a point thanks to Nguette's 69th-minute strike to leave the hosts just two points above the drop zone.

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