No comeback this time as Marseille loses; Rennes beats Metz

·2 min read

PARIS — There was no comeback this time as Jorge Sampaoli experienced his first defeat as Marseille coach, losing 3-0 at Nice on Saturday.

Sampaoli won his first two matches with late goals but Nice held firm after midfielder Khephren Thuram-Ulien, the son of famed France defender Lilian Thuram, headed home in the 33rd minute.

Nice doubled its lead with around 20 minutes left when Marseille botched a throw-in near its goal, and Amine Gouiri robbed a defender of the ball before slotting an angled shot through goalkeeper Steve Mandanda's legs.

Midfielder Alexis Claude-Maurice wrapped it up in the last minute.

Marseille dropped behind Lens to sixth place while Nice climbed up to 10th.

GOAL THEN RED

Rennes won its second straight match under new coach Bruno Genesio, beating Metz 3-1 away.

Rennes leapfrogged Metz into seventh place — one point behind Marseille — to boost its chances of clinching fifth and a Europa League spot next season.

Winger Martin Terrier set up Belgian forward Jeremy Doku in the 18th. It was the 18-year-old Doku's first goal in 26 games since joining the Brittany club for 26 million euros ($31 million) from Anderlecht last October.

Terrier made it 2-0 from the penalty spot in the 37th, and Doku was sent off in the 51st for a dangerous tackle.

Striker Serhou Guirassy made it 3-0 in the 88th and Papa Yade grabbed a consolation goal two minutes later.

Rennes started the season very well but slipped down the table after a poor eight-game run of six defeats and two draws, leading to coach Julien Stephan's resignation.

NEYMAR'S RETURN

Neymar is in Paris Saint Germain's squad for Sunday's big match away to Lyon.

Neymar has been out for five weeks after tearing a left adductor muscle.

“We're very happy to have him again, he's our most important player and he gives us a lot of confidence,” PSG midfielder Marco Verratti said. “We can't wait for him to help us for the rest of the season.”

PSG and Lyon are level on points and three behind leader Lille, which hosts Nimes earlier in the day.

Fourth-place Monaco won 4-0 at Saint-Etienne on Friday to move one point behind PSG and Lyon, in the closest French title race for many years.

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Jerome Pugmire, The Associated Press