Lille Beat Marseille To Boost Champions League Hopes

Canadian star Jonathan David scored his 23rd goal of the season to set Lille on the way to a 3-1 win over Marseille on Friday that kept them firmly on course for next season’s Champions League. David’s penalty put Lille ahead early in the second half. Remy Cabella doubled their lead on 71 minutes by scoring against his former club. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang claimed a goal back for Marseille, but substitute Gabriel Gudmundsson made sure of the victory for Lille late on. The northern side, who face Aston Villa next week in their first ever European quarter-final in the Europa Conference League, move up to third in Ligue 1 ahead of the rest of the weekend’s matches.

They are a point behind second-placed Brest and ahead of Monaco in fourth on goal difference, with the gap to Nice in fifth now six points.

The top three in Ligue 1 will qualify automatically for next season’s expanded Champions League, with the team in fourth entering Europe’s elite club competition in the preliminary rounds.

Marseille are seventh, which may yet be enough to sneak into Europe next season depending on who wins the French Cup, but they are a huge 10 points adrift of the top four and only have six matches left to play.

OM, who face Benfica in Portugal in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final next week, have lost four straight in all competitions.

Prior to that, they had recorded five wins on the bounce following the appointment of Jean-Louis Gasset as their third coach this season.

Lille were seeking to extend an impressive home record which had seen them lose just one of their previous 37 matches at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy, going back to August 2022.

They went ahead nine minutes after the break when David converted from the spot after he had been fouled in the box by Samuel Gigot.

Sixteen of his goals have come in Ligue 1, with only Kylian Mbappe, who has 24 for Paris Saint-Germain, scoring more.

Cabella curled in a delightful shot to make it 2-0 for Paulo Fonseca’s impressive team, before Aubameyang gave Marseille a glimmer of hope, appearing to get the last touch as Lille’s defence made a mess of clearing their lines.

Shortly after that, in the 84th minute, Gudmundsson swept in Lille’s third goal as they prepared in the best possible manner for next Thursday’s trip to Villa Park.

Brest host struggling Metz on Sunday, with Monaco entertaining Rennes and Nice going to Reims later the same day.

Leaders PSG are at home to bottom side Clermont on Saturday.

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