French Ligue One Roundup, May 11
Defending champion Marseille kept alive its French league title bid by beating Brest 3-0 on Wednesday after goals from Loic Remy, Jordan Ayew and Gabriel Heinze.
Marseille consolidated second place, trailing Lille by four points and needing the leader to drop points in at least two matches with three rounds to go.
Remy beat goalkeeper Steeve Elana in the 12th minute to raise his tally to 12 league goals this season before Ayew curled home an angled shot in the 59th. Heinze fired home a low free kick in the 81st to put the result beyond doubt.
"There's still some hope," Remy said. "We want to finish the season by winning all our remaining matches so that we don't have any regret.
"If we win this weekend, we'll pull within one point (of Lille) with a game more. Things can still happen."
Meanwhile, Auxerre thrashed Lyon 4-0 to steer clear of the relegation zone and end Lyon's slim title hopes.
"We wanted to do well and widen the gap with PSG but we poorly handled this match," Lyon midfielder Maxime Gonalons said. "That hurts but we still have our fate in our hands."
Lyon remained in third place but its lead over fourth-place Paris Saint-Germain shrank to one point.
PSG drew 2-2 with Nancy on Tuesday while Lille came from behind to beat Saint-Etienne 2-1 and secure a Champions League spot and inch closer to winning the French league title.
Also Wednesday, it was: Rennes 1, Caen 1; Sochaux 3, Monaco 0; Montpellier 3, Lorient 1; Lens 1, Bordeaux 0; Toulouse 0, Valenciennes 0; Nice 3, Arles-Avignon 2.
In Auxerre, Kenya forward Dennis Oliech opened the scoring for the hosts in the 20th, outpacing Lyon center back Cris to beat goalkeeper Hugo Lloris despite losing his balance inside the area.
Lyon was down to 10 men in the 39th when defender Dejan Lovren picked up a second yellow card for a foul on Oliech, and Auxerre doubled its lead on the stroke of halftime with a header from Alain Traore after Cedric Hengbart's cross.
Traore played a one-two with Roy Contout to make it 3-0 with a chip in the 50th. Hengbart tapped in to seal the win in the 79th.
"I think we've secured safety," Auxerre coach Jean Fernandez said. "We're as happy as when we finished third last season because we were in big trouble (this season). We were under pressure for two or three months with this relegation threat."
In Rennes, Senegal defender Kader Mangane put the hosts ahead in the 43rd with a side-footed finish. But 16-year-old Mbaye Niang scored from close range in the 55th to salvage a draw for Caen.
In Sochaux, David Sauget scored in the 22nd with a cross-shot and two minutes later, Modibo Maiga notched his 14th goal this season with a downward header to double the lead.
Algeria midfielder Ryad Boudebouz added a third goal in the 84th on a counterattack as Sochaux narrowed the gap to fifth-place Rennes to one point.
In Montpellier, Bruno Ecuele Manga headed in a free kick from Lorient midfielder Morgan Amalfitano in the 22nd before Olivier Giroud netted a half-volley in the 26th to equalize for Montpellier.
Montpellier took the lead in the 52nd when Chili midfielder Marco Estrada unleashed a powerful strike into the top corner. Jamel Saihi volleyed home from 25 yards to seal the win in the 64th.
In Lens, goalkeeper Hamdi Kasraoui saved a penalty from Bordeaux forward Anthony Modeste in the 79th before substitute Adil Hermach gave the hosts the win by netting a free kick in the 87th.
In Nice, Serbian forward Danijel Ljuboja powered a header into the top of the net in the 31st, but Remy Cabella leveled for Arles-Avignon in the 39th with a strike from the edge of the box that took a deflection.
Defender Francois Clerc converted a rebound in the 54th to restore Nice's lead and Ljuboja made it 3-1 with a diagonal shot in the 75th before Kaba Diawara pulled one back for Arles-Avignon in stoppage time.