Olympique de Marseille threw away the opportunity to return to the Champions League places in Ligue 1 after falling to a 1-0 away defeat against FC Nantes.
OM headed into the match on the back of two consecutive defeats and appeared desperate not to fall to a third, attacking adventurously and tackling tenaciously.
However, despite looking comfortable, they ceded the initiative in the 20th minute when Steve Mandanda slipped, allowing Serge Gakpe to nip in and steal Rod Fanni’s backpass.
The Togo forward made no mistake and finished calmly beneath a despairing Mandanda from inside the box.
Marseille had a chance to equalise before the first-half was up, but Michy Batshuayi fluffed his lines and fired over the bar.
In the second period, OM became increasingly desperate and Andre Ayew was booked for simulation late on, although the Ghanaian may well feel hard done by after the referee’s decision.
OM had a late chance to win the match, but Fanni and then Mario Lemina headed over in quick succession.
Marseille end the day in fourth place, seven off Lyon having played a game more than the leaders, and five behind Paris Saint-Germain having played two games more.
FC Nantes, on the other hand, find themselves in 10th, the victory pushing them eight points clear of relegation—a fact not lost on their delirious home fans.