LENS, France (Reuters) – Olympique de Marseille moved up to second in Ligue 1 when Dimitri Payet and Cedric Bakambu earned them a solid 2-0 victory at RC Lens on Saturday.
The Provence side, who have 40 points from 21 games, played neatly throughout and were rarely troubled as Payet and second-half substitute Bakambu struck either side of the interval.
They trail Paris St Germain, who host Stade de Reims on Sunday, by 10 points and lead third-placed Nice by a point before the Azurean side travel to Metz.
Seventh-placed Lens are level on 33 points with sixth-placed Monaco, who have a game in hand.
French champions Lille slumped to a 2-0 defeat at mid-table Stade Brestois earlier on Saturday.
Marseille played boldly, with a lot of intensity to unsettle the hosts who struggled to develop their usual free-flowing football at the Stade Bollaert.
OM dominated possession and they were rewarded in the 34th minute. Facundo Medina brought down Matteo Guendouzi in the box and Payet converted the resulting penalty to score his eighth goal in Ligue 1 this season.
Lens did little to threaten after the break, with wing back Jonathan Clauss lacking his usual sharpness and striker Florian Sotoca failing to convert a couple of chances.
Jorge Sampaoli’s side made the most of their hosts’ passiveness and punished them with 13 minutes left when Bakambu, who had replaced Luis Henrique two minutes earlier, netted with a low shot.
(Writing by Julien Pretot; editing by Pritha Sarkar)