Marseille lose upper hand in CL qualifying race in Ligue 1

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Paris, May 12 (IANS) Florian Thauvin salvaged Marseille one point away against Guingamp, with the match in a 3-3, a result that leaves the latter in the fourth position in the Ligue 1 football championship.

Trailing 2-3 into the final ten minutes on Friday, Thauvin swept home on substitute Bouna Sarr’s right-flank cross to finish the match in a thrilling draw, reports Xinhua news agency.

Following the draw in their 37th round match, Marseille are fourth in the table with 74 points — same as third-placed Monaco but the latter has two matches in hand apart from a better goal difference. Lyon are second with 75 points from 36 matches. The third-ranked team of Ligue 1 will go into the playoff round of Champions League qualifiers.

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With 92 points, Paris Saint-Germain, who regained the league championship with five rounds to spare, will lift the trophy following the home match against Rennes.

The match between Guingamp and Marseille was put one day forward as the latter will take on Atletico Madrid in Europa League final on May 16. The Europa League title will serve as another way to group stage the UEFA Champions League.

The visitors got to a flying start and built a two-goal advantage in the first quarter of an hour. In-form Thauvin teed up Valere Germain for a header just two minutes into the match, before finishing the attack in the same manner from Lucas Ocampos in the 14th minute.

Clement Grenier got one back for Guingamp before the interval, as he was on position to find the empty net after Jimmy Briand hit the crossbar.

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Marseille lost ground after the restart, and began to pay for their slack defense. Ocampos’ handball in the 52nd minute earned his opponents a penalty, which was converted by Grenier for his brace of the match.

Guingamp went in front on another spot kick in the 70th minute. An unmarked Briand was brought down by goalkeeper Steve Mandanda in the box. The French international was shown a red card, before Briand made it from the penalty spot.

Guingamp wasted a glorious chance to bag three points at home, as their attempt was denied by Jordan Amavi in front of goal line in stoppage time.

–IANS

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