Marseille stakes claim for Europa League with win in Reims

REIMS, France (AP) — Dimitri Payet scored twice as Marseille continued its revival under new coach Jorge Sampaoli by beating Reims 3-1 in the French league on Friday.

Marseille’s fifth win in seven games lifted the team to fifth in the 34th round, two points ahead of Lens, which hosts Nimes on Sunday. Fifth place would bring Europa League qualification.

Reims forward Nathanael Mbuku opened the scoring with a powerful header to a corner in the 38th minute.

But Arkadiusz Milik set up Dimitri Payet to equalize in the 41st, and there was still time before the break for Payet to return the favor for Milik to put the visitors ahead.

Reims had been unbeaten in nine games, but its task was made harder in the 69th when Wout Faes was sent off for his second yellow card. The home side complained about a preceding foul from Milik in the buildup.

Payet settled the issue with his seventh goal of the season in the 76th.

Milik thought he’d scored a second, too, but that was ruled out for offside, a decision confirmed with a lengthy VAR check.

Reims remained 11th.

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