Paris:Mamadou Niang scored a late penalty on Sunday to help Marseille beat Monaco 2-1 and move within a point of third-place Bordeaux in the French league.
Running onto a high ball, Niang appeared to control it with his hand before he was fouled in the 84th minute. He then curled the spot kick into the top corner, sending goalkeeper Flavio Roma diving the wrong way.
The win improved Marseille to 55 points from 35 games - a point away from the last Champions League spot with three matches remaining.
"This was perhaps our most important match of the season," Marseille midfielder Samir Nasri said. "We defended well."
Monaco took the lead in the 12th when Jeremy Menez ran onto a pass from Yaya Toure and finished coolly past goalkeeper Cedric Carrasso.
Marseille leveled in the 45th when Nasri flicked the ball to Franck Ribery sprinting down the left, and the France winger took one touch to cushion the ball and beat Roma with the next.
Nasri then hit the post and Djibril Cisse missed two chances before Niang's goal.
Monaco's unbeaten run snapped
The loss snapped Monaco's 10-match unbeaten run and kept the team in 13th place with 45 points.
Matt Moussilou scored two goals against his former club, helping Saint-Etienne beat visiting Lille 2-1.
The striker scored his first goal in the 31st minute and added another in the 61st. Kevin Mirallas had briefly equalized for Lille.
Saint-Etienne has 49 points from 25 games and is in eighth place, while Lille is 10th. Lille has not won away from home since Jan. 27 and has lost six of its last seven on the road.
Lille started strong and Mathieu Bodmer shot over the crossbar in the 17th minute. But Saint-Etienne scored with its first attack when Moussilou ran onto Christophe Landrin's pass and lobbed the ball over goalkeeper Tony Sylva.
Lille pulled level when a poor defensive clearance fell to Mirallas on the right and he converted from a narrow angle.
Two minutes later, Pascal Feindouno's long pass found Geoffroy Dernis on the left and his instant cross was swept in by Moussilou.