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Lille moves ahead in race for third place

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 8, 2014 at 3:20 pm •  Published: February 8, 2014

PARIS (AP) — Early and late goals helped third-place Lille beat relegation struggler Sochaux 2-0 in the French league on Saturday to move three points clear of Saint-Etienne in the race for a Champions League place.

The 18-year-old Belgian forward Divock Origi headed in from veteran midfielder Florent Balmont's corner in the third minute. Then, Ryan Mendes replaced Origi up front and sealed the win in the third minute of injury time after a quick counterattack.

Earlier, winger Dimitri Payet scored twice and striker Andre Pierre Gignac grabbed his 17th goal of the season as Marseille beat Bastia 3-0.

"We're trying to improve," Marseille coach Jose Anigo said. "If we apply ourselves we can cause teams a lot of problems. But I'm not going to look too far ahead."

Reims won 2-1 at Guingamp to move up to sixth place, with midfielders Odair Fortes and Floyd Ayite canceling out forward Rachid Alioui's opener for the home side.

Also, highly rated winger Remy Cabella got his ninth league goal as Montpellier rallied to salvage a point in a 1-1 home draw against lowly Evian, Ghanaian forward Majeed Waris scored a late winner as Valenciennes won 2-1 against Nice, and Ajaccio remains in last place, despite beating Rennes 3-1 at home.

Payet, who has found his form again for Marseille after struggling for several months, struck twice within the first 25 minutes and Gignac scored early into the second half with his 11th league goal of the campaign — only two less than he managed all last season.

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