26.11.2018 00:21 h

Thauvin hat-trick lifts Marseille into top five

A hat-trick from Florian Thauvin gave Marseille a 3-1 win at Amiens and lifted them back into the Ligue 1's top five on Sunday.

Marseille have had a mediocre start to the season with last year's beaten finalists suffering the humilation of elimination from the Europa League at the group phase.

But Thauvin's commanding performance in northern France showed their fortunes are on the up, partly thanks to the return of influential central defender Jorge Rolande after a six-month absence with an Achilles injury.

Marseille went behind to Bakaye Dibassy's strike but Thauvin equalised on 26 minutes.

With 10 minutes remaining Thauvin curled a free kick over the Amiens wall and a small deflection helped it fly into the left-hand corner.

Virtually from the restart, Dmitri Payet was felled by Jordan Lefort as he prepared to shoot in front of goal.

But Payet's spot-kick was too straight and easily saved by Amiens goalkeeper Regis Gurtner.

Thauvin got his third goal when Maxime Lopez delivered a pass to the right and the France international's shot squeezed in at the near post.

Marseille have 25 points, one fewer than Lille who were beaten 2-0 at Patrick Vieira's Nice.

Third-placed Montpellier blew the chance of overtaking Lyon, who beat Saint-Etienne 1-0 in the central French derby on Friday, when they were held to a 2-2 draw at home to Rennes.

Paris Saint-Germain stretched their lead to 15 points at the top after barely breaking sweat in a 1-0 win at home to Toulouse on Saturday that set them up for the midweek Champions League clash against Liverpool.

Neymar and Kylian Mbappe were rested to allow injuries to heal but are expected to return for the must-win Group C match.