May 8, 2017 / 4:01 AM / in 5 months

Nice's hopes of ending second wrecked at Marseille

PARIS (Reuters) - Nice’s hopes of finishing second in Ligue 1 to clinch a place in the Champions League group stage were scuppered on Sunday when they lost 2-1 at Olympique de Marseille.

The defeat left them in third place on 77 points, six points behind Paris St Germain, who have a far superior goal difference with two games remaining.

Marseille, who are fifth on 58 points, scored through Bafetimbi Gomis and Patrice Evra either side of a goal from Nice’s Italian striker Mario Balotelli.

Leaders Monaco, who have three games left, have 86 points after they beat Nancy 3-0 away on Saturday.

PSG crushed Bastia 5-0 at Parc des Princes on Saturday but Monaco have a much better goal difference and will be virtually certain of being crowned champions if they beat Lille at Louis II next weekend.

Nice were already guaranteed a top-three finish, which brings a place in the Champions League qualifying round.

Marseilles’s Gomis opened the scoring at the Velodrome with a near-post header from Dimitri Payet’s corner in the 21st minute.

Balotelli equalised five minutes into the second half with a close-range effort only for Evra to restore OM’s lead in the 66th with a diving header at the far post.

Earlier, fourth-placed Olympique Lyonnais came from a goal down to beat mid-table Nantes 3-2.

Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ken Ferris

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