Paris (AFP) – Florian Thauvin and Kostas Mitroglou scored two apiece to propel Champions League hopefuls Marseille to a 5-1 thrashing of relegation-threatened Lille as 10-man Monaco came badly unstuck 3-1 at Guingamp in Ligue 1 on Saturday.
The deposed champions travelled to Guingamp anxious to draw a line under last weekend’s humiliating 7-1 thrashing by Paris Saint-Germain.
But Jemerson’s 22nd minute red card for stopping a Marcus Thuram shot with his arm, with Jimmy Briand converting the ensuing penalty, left Monaco there for the taking.
Etienne Didot doubled the hosts lead after the half hour and Thuram put the game beyond reach two minutes after the restart to ensure Monaco’s battle for second place would go down to the wire.
Monaco, who got a consolation goal with Almamy Toure’s 63rd header, remain in second on 70 points, but Lyon and Marseille are now snapping at their heels for the automatic Champions League berth just one point adrift.
Rudi Garcia’s Marseille kept pace on that precious runners-up spot courtesy of a four-goal blitz in the first half at the Velodrome.
Thauvin headed Marseille ahead from a Bouna Sarr cross on 12 minutes and then struck again — his 19th goal of the campaign — from the penalty spot after Dimitri Payet was fouled in the area by Hamza Mendyl.
Mitroglou made it 3-0 to Marseille on 35 minutes with a thumping header from Jordan Amavi’s ball in from the left, and the Greek striker promptly hooked in the home side’s fourth following an assist from Lucas Ocampos.
“With this level of spirit we are capable of being stronger than anything, we have to continue like this until the end of the season,” said Garcia.
The only negative was a knee injury to Marseille’s Japan international Hirkoi Sakai, who will undergo tests on Sunday.
Lille, who entered the weekend in the relegation play-off places following a run of 10 matches without a win, pulled a goal back through Yassine Benzia on 54 minutes.
Ocampos completed the rout by netting Marseille’s fifth.
Lille, who won a domestic double under Garcia in 2010-11, dropped into the bottom two after falling below Troyes on goal difference.
On Friday, Lyon captain Nabil Fekir scored a superb goal in a 5-2 win at Dijon as Bruno Genesio’s team claimed a sixth consecutive league victory.
Champions Paris Saint-Germain visit mid-table Bordeaux on Sunday.