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Lille win to move clear in third place

Early and late goals helped third-place Lille beat relegation strugglers Sochaux 2-0 in Ligue 1 on Saturday to move three points clear of Saint-Etienne in the race for a Champions League place.

Ryan Mendes points to the sky after scoring Lille's second against Sochaux in the 90th minute.
Ryan Mendes points to the sky after scoring Lille's second against Sochaux in the 90th minute.

The 18-year-old Belgian forward Divock Origi headed in from veteran midfielder Florent Balmont's corner in the third minute. Ryan Mendes later replaced Origi up front and sealed the win in the third minute of injury time after a quick counterattack.

Earlier, winger Dimitri Payet scored twice and striker Andre Pierre Gignac grabbed his 17th goal of the season as Marseille beat Bastia 3-0. Payet, who has found his form again for Marseille after struggling for several months, struck twice within the first on 25 minutes and Gignac scored early into the second half with his 11th league goal of the campaign.

Gignac also turned into a provider, as he set up Payet's first goal in the 13th minute in a superb one-two. Payet's second goal was even better as he struck a 25-metre shot straight into the top corner.

Gignac showed good reflexes in the 55th to pounce on the loose ball after midfielder Gianelli Imbula's strike came back off the crossbar and finished confidently past goalkeeper Jean-Louis Leca with a neat half-volley.

Reims won 2-1 at Guingamp to move up to sixth place, with midfielders Odair Fortes and Floyd Ayite canceling out forward Rachid Alioui's opener for the home side.

Patches of standing water made conditions difficult for both teams but Guingamp adapted more easily, with Yatabare finding space on the left and picking out Alioui, who turned home his third goal in two games.

But the lead lasted only seven minutes before Prince Oniangue picked out the pacey Fortes, who made the most of Reynald Lemaitre's misjudgement and slid the ball past N'Dy Assembe.

And three minutes later the turnaround was complete. Ayite's goal was all his own work as the Togo forward, on for Eliran Atar seven minutes earlier, raced past two defenders before firing low inside the near post.

Highly rated winger Remy Cabella got his ninth league goal as Montpellier rallied to salvage a point in a 1-1 home draw against lowly Evian.

Evian took the lead in the 33rd minute after Cedric Barbosa found Kevin Berigaud from a corner. The midfielder smashed a first-time half-volley through a crowd of players and beyond Montpellier goalkeeper Geoffrey Jourdren from the edge of the area.

Montpellier equalised 10 minutes later through Cabella after Anthony Mounier raced down the right and cut the ball back to the midfielder, who slotted in at the far post.

After the break, Siaka Tiene was sent off for his second yellow card of the game following a clumsy challenge on Berigaud.

Ghanaian forward Majeed Waris scored a late winner as Valenciennes won 2-1 against Nice.

Tongo Doumbia had put Valenciennes ahead after 26 minutes but it seemed they would have to settle for a point after Neal Maupay levelled in the 75th minute.

But Valenciennes had the final word when Majeed cut in from the left before powering a shot beyond Ospina.

Ajaccio remain in last place despite beating Rennes 3-1 at home.

The bottom-of-the-table side remain nine points from safety but strikes from Ricardo Faty and Johan Cavalli, plus a goal of the season contender from Benjamin Andre, increased their hopes of an unlikely escape from the drop.

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