PARIS (AP) — Montpellier punished more poor defending from Marseille on Sunday, winning 3-0 at home to move up to second place in the French league.
Marseille has lost its last three games, conceding eight goals altogether following home defeats to Lazio in the Europa League and runaway league leader Paris Saint-Germain.
Although Montpellier and PSG are 11 points apart in the league, they share one thing in common: the best defense with only seven goals conceded in 12 games. By contrast, Marseille has the second-worst defense in Ligue 1 with 21 goals conceded.
Montpellier's attack can't compete with PSG's but is nonetheless dynamic and efficient, with strikers Gaetan Laborde and Andy Delort combining well with 11 goals between them in their first season together.
Laborde, who joined right at the end of the transfer window after being sold by Bordeaux, struck twice to take his season's tally to six.
Midfielder Paul Lasne got the other goal for Montpellier, which did enough to climb above Lille and into second on goal difference.
Marseille is in sixth place and the Europa League runner-up faces a daunting trip to Lazio on Thursday.
Nantes striker Emiliano Sala moved one goal behind France star Kylian Mbappe atop the scoring charts after netting twice in a 5-0 home win against Guingamp.
The imposing center forward converted a penalty late in the first half and completed the scoring late on for his 10th goal in 12 games. Sala is only two goals behind his career-best tally of 12, which he managed for Nantes in the last two seasons.
Nantes continued its resurgence under new coach Vahid Halilhodzic, a former Nantes striker who scored more than 100 goals for the club and helped it win the French title in 1983.
Halilhodzic was fired as Japan coach on April 7, two months before the World Cup in Russia, despite leading Japan to a berth in the tournament.
A third straight league win, with 11 goals scored during that spell, has pushed Halilhodzic's Nantes into 10th place following a difficult start to the campaign.
Guingamp remains bottom when a draw would have sent former France great Thierry Henry's struggling Monaco side into last place instead.
Also, winger Romain Hamouma scored an 89th-minute winner as fifth-place Saint-Etienne beat Angers 4-3.