Marseille win, Troyes relegated in Ligue 1

·3-min read
Jordan Veretout (centre) rounded off Marseille's win with a penalty
Jordan Veretout (centre) rounded off Marseille's win with a penalty

Marseille won and Troyes' relegation fate was sealed in Ligue 1 on Sunday as Rennes paid tribute to former youth player Arman Soldin, the AFP video reporter killed in Ukraine.

Marseille came from behind at home to beat bottom club Angers 3-1 to move to within two points of second-placed Lens.

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Goals from Alexis Sanchez, Dimitri Payet and Jordan Veretout's penalty proved the perfect riposte to last week's defeat to Lens after Abdallah Sima's goal had given the visitors early hope of an upset at the Velodrome.

Earlier, Clermont also came from a goal down to beat Lyon 2-1.

Alexandre Lacazette gave Lyon the lead after 22 minutes but Grejohn Kyei levelled from the penalty spot three minutes later.

Kyei netted his second after 65 minutes to lift Clermont up to eighth, just three points behind Lyon whose hopes of European football next season appear to be over.

"It's a big disappointment," said Lyon coach Laurent Blanc. "As for Europe, it's all over."

At Rennes there was an emotional homage to Soldin, who was killed covering the Ukraine war for AFP on Tuesday.

Soldin's mother and brother live in the western city and Rennes held the tribute to his memory before the Breton club's home match with Troyes.

- Rennes tribute to Soldin -

Rennes invited around 30 of Soldin's friends and family -- including a sister living in the Bosnian city of Mostar -- to pay tribute to his sacrifice.

Fans joined them in warmly applauding as images of the slain reporter were shown on giant screens at the stadium while the announcer saluted Soldin's courage and commitment to "informing as many as possible about the realities of a conflict".

Bosnian-born French citizen Soldin, 32, was on assignment with an AFP team as the global news agency's video coordinator in Ukraine when they came under fire from Grad rockets while with Ukrainian soldiers near Bakhmut.

Before becoming a journalist Soldin, who as a toddler left war-torn Bosnia with his mother on a humanitarian flight to France, had been a keen footballer as a teenager.

Growing up in the western region of Brittany he earned a place on the Rennes youth team between 2006 and 2008 in his mid-teens -- only giving up on a professional career due to knee injuries.

Rennes went on to win 4-0, consigning Troyes to life in the second division next term, joining already relegated Ajaccio and Angers.

Nantes occupy the fourth drop spot after a goalless draw at Toulouse which left them one point behind Auxerre, who lost 1-0 at Brest.

At the top, Paris Saint-Germain closed in on a record 11th French league title on Saturday with a 5-0 home win over Ajaccio.

PSG need four points from their final three games -- against Auxerre, Strasbourg and Clermont -- to secure the Ligue 1 title after restoring their six-point lead over second-placed Lens.

The weekend's action was also marked by several players refusing to participate in a campaign against homophobia.

All teams in Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 wore shirts featuring numbers in rainbow colours as part of the initiative. The captains' armbands were similarly coloured.

Toulouse's Zakaria Aboukhlal and Nantes' Mostafa Mohamed were omitted from the teamsheet for the 0-0 draw after both reportedly objected to wearing the jersey.

Guingamp's Senegalese defender Donatien Gomis ruled himself out of the Ligue 2 clash with Sochaux on Saturday for the same reason, club sources there said.

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