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SOCCER

Marseille leaves it late against Montpellier

Andre-Pierre Gignac scored in second- half stoppage time on Saturday as Marseille climbed to within one point of the Ligue 1 summit with a 3-2 victory over Montpellier at the Stade Velodrome

Marseille, playing for the first time without striker Loic Remy, who left for QPR earlier in the week, had no trouble getting its offense going in the first half.

The hosts struck first in the 14th minute when Joey Barton floated a cross into the box and Andre Ayew got a head to it and directed it into the bottom right corner for the early lead.

Just three minutes later, the defending league champs equalized when Emanuel Herrera got on the end of a through ball from John Utaka and slotted it home.

The visitors grabbed the lead in the 56th minute when Utaka powered home a shot from inside the box off a cross from Remy Cabella, but Marseille pulled it back level 11 minutes from time when Jordan Ayew smashed one home from in close.

The game appeared to be headed for a draw, but Gignac collected a ball just outside the box, used some nice footwork to dance past some weak defending and slotted home a right-footed strike for the winner in injury time.

The result leaves Montpellier in ninth place with 29 points.

Loic Poujol netted the lone goal as Sochaux posted a 1-0 win over Reims to move out of the relegation zone, while Reims remains in the bottom three, one point from safety.

Opa Nguette buried the equalizer in the 69th minute as 10-man Valenciennes salvaged a 1-1 draw with Ajaccio, and Brandao's 50th-minute strike was enough to lift St. Etienne to a 1-0 win over Brest.

Gregory Bourillon's 83rd-minute goal proved to be the difference as Lorient moved to fourth place on 34 points with a 3-2 victory over Troyes, while Franck Tabanou netted a brace as Toulouse posted a 2-1 triumph against Nancy.