Marseille beat Angers to keep Champions League hopes alive

Marseille players celebrate after beating Angers in Ligue 1.
Marseille players celebrate after beating Angers in Ligue 1.
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Marseille maintained their hopes of securing a Champions League group stage spot for next season when they beat already-relegated Angers 3-1 in Ligue 1 on Sunday.

Alexis Sanchez cancelled out Abdallah Simah's surprise opener for Angers in the first half before Dimitri Payet and Jordan Veretout's penalty after the break put third-placed OM on 73 points with three matches left.

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They trail second-placed Lens, who are now sure of finishing in the top three, by two points and leaders Paris Saint-Germain by eight.

The first two teams in Ligue 1 qualify for the Champions League group stage while the third-placed team goes into the third qualifying round.

With only three wins this season and their relegation to Ligue 2 already confirmed, Angers had little to play for but there was also no pressure on them at the Stade Velodrome.

They made the most of Marseille's unconvincing start to go ahead on 27 minutes when Sima beat the offside trap to beat Pau Lopez from close range.

Sanchez, however, equalised with his 14th league goal of the season, tapping home at the near post from Jonathan Clauss's cross seven minutes later.

Payet gave the hosts the advantage from Sanchez's cross after a superb slalom run through midfield by Ruslan Malinovskyi.

It was game over in the 77th minute when Veretout converted a penalty after a Sima handball in the box.