A last-gasp Prince Oniangue winner put the sparkle back into Stade de Reims’ season on Saturday with a 3-2 win at Ligue 1 rivals Olympique de Marseille.
The side from the Champagne region handed last season’s Ligue 1 runners-up a fifth straight defeat in all competitions to put Marseille boss Elie Baup under increasing pressure.
Despite the backing of club president Vincent Labrune, Baup saw his side drop to provisional sixth having also almost bid farewell to the UEFA Champions League after their 2-1 loss to SSC Napoli last week.
“We’re in a very difficult period,” Baup said. “The third goal left a bitter taste. The Champions League is not easy and that has a knock-on effect on the league.”
The hosts were trailing by two goals at halftime.
Reims opened the scoring after 34 minutes when Franco-Togolese midfielder Floyd Ayite’s free-kick deflected by a Saber Khalifa header deceived Steve Mandanda in goal.
Just three minutes later, Reims, who had just won two matches in their previous 10, added a second from from Danish midfielder Mads Albaek.
The visitors almost scored a third two minutes before the break, but Gaeten Courtet missed the target.
Marseille were jeered by their own fans, but Florian Thauvin lifted their spirits when he got one back after 56 minutes.
Substitute Andre-Pierre Gignac then set the Stade Velodrome alight when on 86 minutes he equalized shortly after coming on the pitch, but Marseille paid the price for leaving Congolese midfielder Oniangue unmarked and he scored past Mandanda as Baup’s side lost in stoppage-time for the third time this season.
Reims moved up to 10th just two points behind Marseille.
“We came here to fix the errors of our last two away matches,” Reims coach Hubert Fournier said, adding that he had analyzed Marseille play Napoli to see how best to take them on. “They have players on the pitch who are worth 30 million euros [US$41 million], our overall budget, but they reacted well in the second half.”
Meanwhile, En Avant de Guingamp overtook Marseille on goal-difference to move fifth after leaving it late before goals from Claudio Beauvue and Mustapha Diallo in the final six minutes gave them a 2-1 win against visiting AC Ajaccio.
The Corsicans had opened the scoring four minutes before the break through Benjamin Andre.
Midtable Stade Rennais went on a goal spree at Toulouse, getting five past goalkeeper Ali Ahamada in a 5-0 victory in Brittany.
Sebastien Squillaci scored a first-half goal to give SC Bastia a 1-0 win over OGC Nice, while Lorient won 2-1 against fellow strugglers Sochaux-Montbeliard and bottom-of-the-table Valenciennes fell 1-0 at home to Evian Thonon Gaillard.