Marseille have defeated Bastia 2-1 to move within three points of Lyon after the Ligue 1 leaders could only draw against lowly Nancy.
Mathieu Valbuena and Andre Ayew scored for Marseille as they won at Bastia’s empty stadium on Wednesday after the home fans were locked out as punishment for crowd trouble in the Corsican derby versus Ajaccio in October.
Valbuena gave Marseille the lead in the 15th minute with a fine volley from Rod Fanni’s header and Ayew doubled the visitor’s margin from the spot with 20 minutes to go before Anthony Modeste gave Bastia some hope with a late goal, although the home side could not manage an equaliser.
With a quarter of an hour gone, a cross from the right wing was partially cleared by Bastia’s defence but Marseille’s Fanni got to the high ball first, heading the ball towards Valbuena and the stocky midfielder swivelled to strike a right-footed volley into the top corner of the net.
Marseille scored a deserved second goal in the 70th minute after Jordan Ayew was brought down in the box by Bastia goalkeeper Landry Bonnefoi.
The visitors’ captain Andre Ayew thumped home his left-foot penalty to make the score 2-0.
Bastia hit back in the 82nd minute when Modeste snuck in behind Marseille’s defence to tap the ball home but Marseille held on for their first win in three games.
The result sees Marseille move to 32 points, three behind Lyon, who needed an 83rd-minute goal from Michel Bastos to draw at home against second-bottom club Nancy.
The visitors took an unlikely lead in the 74th minute through Jordan Loties but Lyon avoided an embarrassing defeat on their home turf when Bastos struck the ball into the bottom corner from outside the box with seven minutes to play.
Reigning Ligue 1 champions Montpellier moved up to 11th after a come-from-behind victory over Brest.
Eden Ben Basat put Brest in front in the 14th minute but the home side conceded their lead just seven minutes later when defender Johan Martial scored an own goal.
Montpellier took advantage of that gift in the 57th minute when John Utaka scored after fine lead-up work from Younes Belhanda.
In other results, Lorient, Evian and Ajaccio all won 2-0 at home, defeating Sochaux, Troyes and Reims respectively.