Prince Oniangue compounds Marseille misery
Paris: A last-gasp Prince Oniangue winner put the sparkle back into Reims` season on Saturday with a 3-2 win at Ligue 1 rivals Marseille.
The side from the Champagne region handed last season`s runners-up a fifth straight defeat in all competitions to put Marseille boss Elie Baup under increasing pressure.
Despite the backing of club president Vincent Labrune, Baup saw his side drop to provisional sixth having also almost bid farewell to the Champions League after their 2-1 loss to Napoli midweek.
"We`re in a very difficult period," admitted Baup. "The third goal left a bitter taste. The Champions League is not easy and that has a knock-on effect on the league."
The hosts were trailing two goals down at half-time.
Reims opened after 34 minutes when Franco-Togolese midfielder Floyd Ayite`s freekick off a Saber Khalifa header deceived Steve Mandanda in goal.
And just three minutes later, Reims, who had just won two matches in their previous ten, added a second from ten metres out from Danish midfielder Mads Albaek.
The visitors almost scored a third two minutes before the break but Gaeten Courtet missed the target.
Marseille were jeered by their own fans but Florian Thauvin lifted spirits when he got one back after 56 minutes.
Substitute Andre-Pierre Gignac then set the Velodrome alight when on 86 minutes he equalised shortly after coming on the pitch.
But Marseille paid the price for leaving Congolese international midfielder Oniangue unmarked and he got past Mandanda as Baup`s side lost in stoppage time for the third time this season.
"We shouldn`t blame anyone," insisted Labrune.
"We`re all supportive of each other, the president, the athletic director (Jose Anigo), the coach and players. We must move forward. There are 27 league games left, I want to convey a message of unity," he added.
Reims move up to tenth just two points behind Marseille.
"We came here to fix the errors of our last two away matches," said Reims coach Hubert Fournier, adding that they had analysed Marseille play Napoli to see how best approach the game against their big-spending rivals.
"They have players on the pitch who are worth 30 million euros, our overall budget," he said. "But they reacted well in the second half."
Guingamp, meanwhile, overtook Marseille on goal difference to move fifth after leaving it late before goals from Claudio Beauvue (86) and Mustapha Diallo (90+1) gave them a 2-1 win against visiting Ajaccio. The Corsicans had opened four minutes before the break through Benjamin Andre.
Midtable Rennes went on a goalspree at Toulouse getting five past `keeper Ali Ahamada in a 5-0 victory in Brittany.
Sebastien Squillaci scored a first half goal to give Bastia a 1-0 win against Nice which helped put their 4-0 loss in Paris last week behind them.
Lorient won 2-1 against fellow strugglers Sochaux as tailenders Valenciennes fell 1-0 at home against Evian/Thonon.
Meanwhile, a first half Nolan Roux strike ensured that Lille moved second on Friday with a 1-0 win at Nantes.
Lille have 23 points from 11 games, just one point behind leaders Paris Saint Germain who will look to consolidate their advantage at Saint Etienne on Sunday.
Third-placed Monaco, a further point behind Lille, could however reclaim second spot when they host Lyon on Sunday.