PARIS ( Associated Press) – Third-place Marseille beat Montpellier 2-1 on Monday for its third French league win.
Marseille arrived with confidence after beating Toulouse 6-1 at home and left winger Nuno Tavares scored in the 47th minute to make it five goals in the campaign.
Marseille extended their lead when centre-back Chancelle Mbemba pressured rival defender Maxime Esteve to score in the 61st.
Tavares was sent off near the end and gave hope to Montpellier. Midfielder Teji Savanier scored from an extra-time penalty, but the home side ran out of time in a frantic finish.
Marseille are the latest automatic ticket to the Champions League, four points behind second-placed Lens and two ahead of fourth-placed Rennes. Rennes beat Nice 2-1 at home with a late winning shot from winger Benjamin Bourguide.
Forward Martin Terrier gave Rennes the lead after six minutes, but midfielder Ross Barkley equalized after 21 minutes. Terrier went off on a stretcher late in the first half with a right knee injury.
Lille are seventh after a 1-1 draw with mid-table Reims.
Canadian striker Jonathan David gave Lille the lead to reach 10 league goals, but Sweden’s Jens Kjæst equalized the game.
After almost drawing with leaders Paris Saint-Germain last week, Strasbourg lost 3-2 at home to Troyes.
PSG suffered their first defeat of the season on Sunday.