Paris, Feb 17 : Monaco jumped out of relegation zone with a 1-0 home win over Nantes, while Italian striker Mario Balotelli continued his scoring momentum to earn Marseille third straight victory by beating Amiens 2-0 in Ligue 1 on Saturday.
Gelson Martins put Monaco in front 13 minutes into the match thanks to brilliant teamwork. Captain Radamel Falcao released Rony Lopes on the left, and the latter stitchingly teed up Martins' goal at the far post.
As both sides failed to create concrete chances of rewriting the score after the restart, Monaco accrued the crucial three points to climb up to the 16th position, two points over the playoff spot. Nantes stay 14th.
Balotelli latched onto Lucas Ocampos' header, turned around and swept home in the 25th minute, his third goal in four matches since joining from Nice in the winter transfer window.
Six minutes earlier, Florian Thauvin collected Maxime Lopez's cross and finished a left-footed shot for his 12th league goal of the campaign.
Balotelli thought that his second goal of the match arrived from a close-range header in the 69th minute, but it turned out to be disallowed for offside by match referee following a VAR review. Jordan Amavi smashed a shot against the bar five minutes later.
Marseille move up to fourth, six points adrift third-placed Lyon.
Also on Saturday, Angers crushed Nice 3-0 at home through goals from Stephane Bahoken, Angelo Fulgini and Cristian Lopez.
Following midweek's Champions League round of 16 first-leg victory at Manchester United, leaders Paris Saint-Germain will travel to Saint-Etienne on Sunday. (XINHUA)