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Ligue 1: Marseille title hopes spring leak at Montpellier

Marseille suffered a second successive defeat and saw their Ligue 1 titles hopes suffer a blow when they lost 2-1 at Montpellier on Friday.

Ligue 1: Marseille title hopes spring leak at Montpellier

Paris: Marseille suffered a second successive defeat and saw their Ligue 1 titles hopes suffer a blow when they lost 2-1 at Montpellier on Friday.

A week after losing to fourth-tier Grenoble in the French Cup, the former European giants were sunk at the Stade de la Mosson which was hosting a game for the first time since floods in September swamped the arena.

Marcelo Bielsa`s Marseille still lead Ligue 1 but they can be deposed by Lyon if they defeat Toulouse on Sunday.

Friday`s result also allowed Montpellier to clinch the league double over their heavyweight rivals having won 2-0 at the Stade Velodrome earlier in the season.

Kevin Berigaud and Paul Lasne scored for Montpellier either side of the interval with Bilel Omrani giving Marseille hope with a goal just two minutes after coming on as a substitute.

The game got off to an emotional start with a minute`s silence observed in memory of the victims of this week`s Paris massacres followed by a rousing rendition of La Marseillaise.

Both sets of players sported "Je Suis Charlie" T-shirts during the warm-up and wore black armbands.

Berigaud gave Montpellier a deserved 36th-minute lead in controversial circumstances with a superb piece of control with his left foot before firing a right-foot drive from the edge of the box past Steve Mandanda in the Marseille goal.

But Marseille believed play should have been halted for a foul on Brice Dja Djedje who lost possession in the build-up to the goal.

Lasne, who had created his team`s opener, then made it 2-0 after 62 minutes after a muscular charge by Anthony Mounier took out two defenders.

His pass found an unmarked Lasne who scored confidently from the edge of the six-yard box.

Omrani gave Marseille hope by cutting the deficit six minutes later but it was Montpellier who finished the stronger.

Marseille have now gone seven away games without a win in all competitions and looked weakened on Friday with Africa Cup of Nations-bound Andre Ayew and Nicolas Nkoulou both absent.

From Zee News

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