Marseille coach Marcelo Bielsa has challenged his side to finish the Ligue 1 season strongly and guarantee UEFA Champions League qualification.
Friday’s win over Metz put Marseille two points behind third-placed Monaco – who play Toulouse on Sunday – and represented a welcome return to form after a 5-3 reversal at the hands of Lorient marked a fourth straight defeat for Bielsa’s men.
Andre-Pierre Gignac’s double, coupled with a rare clean sheet, gave Bielsa cause for hope as Marseille bid to reel in Monaco.
“As long as, mathematically, we have a chance, we’ll continue to hope for a third-placed finish,” he told reporters.
“I thank the players and the fans for their support. It was a complicated match. We had to fight hard and fight for every ball, but in the end I think the result was the right one because we made the collective effort to get it.
“We were surprised by Metz at the beginning of the match, but we turned in an excellent defensive performance, even though we did concede some chances.
“In the second half we could have scored even more goals. It was crucial that we got the win.”
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