Benedetto scores 3 as Marseille bounces back to win in Nimes

NIMES, France (AP) — Argentine striker Darío “Pipa” Benedetto scored a hat trick to help Marseille win at relegation-threatened Nimes 3-2 and consolidate its place as the best of the rest in the French league on Friday.

Marseille was responding to last weekend’s shock loss at home to Nantes, a defeat that ended André-Villas Boas’ side’s 14-match unbeaten run in the league.

Zinedine Ferhat fired Nimes in front from a rebound in the fifth minute for the side’s second early goal in as many games.

Benedetto equalized in the 10th, also on a rebound, and put the visitors in front with a chip over the goalkeeper in the 36th. He completed his hat trick in the 68th after reacting fastest to Dimitri Payet’s free kick.

Lucas Deaux scored Nimes’ consolation in injury time at Stade des Costieres.

Marseille moved to 10 points behind runaway league leader Paris Saint-Germain and stretched the gap to 11 on third-placed Rennes ahead of the rest of the 27th round.

PSG hosts Dijon, and Rennes visits Toulouse on Saturday.