Benedetto on fire as Marseille strengthen second place

Dario Benedetto scored a hat trick as Olympique de Marseille claimed a 3-2 win at Nimes to cement their second place in Ligue 1 on Friday.

The home opened the scoring through Zinedine Ferhat before Benedetto struck twice before the interval and once after to put OM on 55 points from 27 games with Lucas Deaux reducing the arrears in stoppage tie.

They trail leaders Paris Saint-Germain by 10 points but lead third-placed Rennes, who travel to bottom side Toulouse on Saturday, by 11.

Nimes, who had won four of their five previous games in Ligue 1, are 18th on 27 points.

Following a first defeat in 2020 against Nantes last weekend, Andre Villas Boas's side were at their clinical best after a sluggish start.

Ferhat put the hosts ahead by poking the ball home after Steve Mandanda had parried Nolan Roux's attempt into his path.

But Marseille quickly levelled as Benedetto tapped home from Bouna Sarr's cross for his second goal in three league games after a spell of eight matches without scoring.

The Argentine was at it again nine minutes before the break, flicking the ball past Paul Bernardoni after collecting a through ball from Dimitri Payet.

He effectively wrapped it up in the 69th minute with a half volley from point-blank range - his 11th goal of the season.

Deaux pulled one back with a header two minutes into injury time but it was too little, too late for Nimes.