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Marseille stutter again, Nice fifth after thumping Rennes

Marseille stutter again, Nice fifth after thumping Rennes

REUTERS – Olympique Marseille remain mired near the bottom of Ligue 1 after being held 1-1 at home by FC Lorient on Sunday, while Bordeaux and Montpellier were goalless and Hatem Ben Arfa inspired Nice to a 4-1 win at Stade Rennes.

Marseille took the lead through a Michy Batshuayi penalty in the 21st minute, but Benjamin Moukandjo beat goalkeeper Steve Mandanda to equalise 16 minutes later.

Marseille are stuck in 16th place with nine points from 10 games. Lorient are ninth, with 15 points.

Bordeaux’s underwhelming start to the season continued with a 0-0 draw against struggling visitors Montpellier in a game dedicated to the home side’s former keeper Dominique Dropsy who died aged 63 on Oct. 7.

Nice secured a thumping victory at Rennes with Ben Arfa scoring the pick of the goals.

Marseille were booed off the pitch after being held by Lorient as the nine-times champions’ dismal campaign continued.

Michel’s Marseille went ahead through Batshuayi’s spot kick but Moukandjo levelled in the 37th minute at Stade Velodrome.

Marseille have failed to win in their past six matches in all competitions and stand five points above the relegation zone, 17 points behind league leaders Paris Saint-Germain.

“We are in an emergency situation,” said Cameroon defender Nicolas Nkoulou. “We needed the three points, obviously we are disappointed.”

LOW QUALITY

In a game low on quality, Bordeaux managed only three shots on target at home to injury-ravaged Montpellier, who had none.

The 0-0 draw left Willy Sagnol’s side in 14th place, while Montpellier are 18th, one point above the drop zone, after avoiding defeat for just the third time this season.

Nice, the league’s top scorers, beat Rennes away for their fourth straight victory. They took the lead after 14 minutes through Mathieu Bodmer, before Ben Arfa continued his excellent run of form with a sensational strike in the 53rd.

Picking up a long ball from Jean Seri, Ben Arfa dribbled towards goal and shrugged off Sylvain Armand with a change of pace before finding the net from just outside the six-yard box.

Mahamane Traore made it 3-0 after 75 minutes before Said Benrahma added a magnificent fourth from outside the area five minutes later. Kamil Grosicki pulled one back for Rennes.

The victory takes Nice to fifth place on 17 points above Rennes, who drop to seventh a point behind.

(By Ed Dove, Editing by Ken Ferris)

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