Canada's David scores milestone goal for Lille as Marseille loses ground in Champions League chase
PARIS (CP-AP) — Canadian forward Jonathan David scored a milestone goal Saturday in Lille's 2-1 win over visiting Marseille, which fell behind Lens in the race for an automatic Champions League place from the French league.
Lille closed the gap on Monaco in the chase for fourth and an Europa League place with David, from the penalty spot, scoring his 22nd league goal of the season. The 23-year-old from Ottawa is the first player to score 50 goals for Lille since Pierre Pleimelding in 1981.
David has 24 goals in 40 appearances for Canada.
Third-placed Marseille was two points behind Lens, which can take a step closer to clinching Champions League entry by winning at Lorient on Sunday.
Marseille was without playmaker Dimitri Payet — suspended after slapping an assistant coach from Lens this month — but took the lead in the 29th minute through right back Jonathan Clauss.
He clipped the ball over the goalkeeper after being sent clear by Ukraine midfielder Ruslan Malinovskyi.
David equalized in the 50th from the penalty spot after a defensive mix-up led to a foul by goalkeeper Pau Lopez.
Clauss picked out Alexis Sanchez and he found the net with a low shot from inside the penalty area, but his goal was ruled offside following a video review.
Jonathan Bamba headed in fellow winger Rémy Cabella's cross for Lille's winner in the 72nd as the northern side moved within two points of Monaco with two games left.
NANTES IN TROUBLE
Changing coach has made no difference yet for Nantes, which stayed in the relegation zone after losing at home to Montpellier 3-0.
Nantes fired Antoine Kombouaré with four games remaining and replaced him with the reserves coach. But the side has picked up only one point in two games since.
Nantes was in 17th place with four teams going down this season and only two rounds remaining.
Defending champion Paris Saint-Germain can clinch a record 11th league title if it wins at relegation battler Auxerre and Lens does not beat Lorient.
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Jerome Pugmire, The Associated Press