Marseille looking to secure Champoins League place

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Marseille kept Champions League qualification a distinct possibility at the weekend with a convincing 2-0 win against relegation-destined Metz.

The three points brought them up to 60 so far, and they sneaked into fourth spot on goal difference.

Saint-Etienne, who were on 60 points before the weekend, capitulated against the mid-table Bastia in a yellow card strewn game in Corsica.

In Metz it was the away team who benefited by a brace from Andre-Pierre Gignac to get them through; however it was Mandanda who had the most to do of the two keepers, helping ensure his team continued into fourth spot ahead of Saint-Etienne.  

Marseille now sit five points behind third-placed Monaco - the final place for Champions League next year, offering third round qualification into the competition.

But rather than looking behind them at Saint-Etienne and what may turn out to be a tough challenge for the Europa spot, l'OM were focusing on catching up with Monaco.

Mandanda voiced his resolve on the issue, telling reporters: "We must end with as many points as we can in the remaining games".

Though non-committal to his expectations from the end of this season, he confirmed the whole team were focused on the job in hand.

Season coming to a close

However, with a possible nine points left to grab before the end of the season, it is looking almost too late to catch Monaco, who ironically will also play Metz in two weeks.

Whether third could be a possibility or not hinges entirely on the two southern competitors meeting in Marseille for the evening fixture on Sunday 10 May.

Monaco will surely want to banish OM to a battle for Europa League that night, but the home team will do everything in their power to stay in the fight for third.

Making three points up on their southern rivals, cutting the gap to just two points, would definitely give them hope.  And the possible financial benefits of Champions League matches next season will be of great interest to the board.

The last time the two teams matched up for the late Sunday fixture was in December, and Monaco came out on top by one goal to nil thanks to a fabulous passage of play and real poise from scorer Bernardo Silva, who slotted his effort into the corner despite Mandanda getting hands to it.

Marseille dominated large parts of that game, and fans were rightfully disappointed in the result away from home.

However what is most notable is that l'OM were still top of the table after that defeat, and five months later they are 14 points off league leaders PSG, potentially with a real scrap left to find out what next season holds for les Olympiens, including whether they end up in Europe at all.

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AS Monaco
UEFA Champions League
Ligue 1
Paris Saint-Germain

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