Updated: Sunday, 23 March 2014 02:38 | By Agence France-Presse

Rennes inflict further misery on Marseille

Marseille's bid for European football next season received another major blow on Saturday when struggling visitors Rennes inflicted a 1-0 defeat on Jose Anigo's side at the Velodrome.

Rennes inflict further misery on Marseille

Rennes' midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure celebrates with teammate Nelson Oliveira (R) after scoring a goal on March 22, 2014 at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, southern France - by Anne-Christine Poujoulat

Abdoulaye Doucoure's 76th minute goal from a sparkling counter attack left Marseille in sixth place, a yawning nine points off the last Champions league spot, third-placed Lyon, and four points off the Europa league spot inhabited by Saint Etienne.

Those gaps could well increase with the teams above Marseille enjoying a game in hand.

Saturday's upset came on the back of last week's 1-1 draw with Reims and a 1-0 loss to Nice.

It was Marseille's sixth home loss of the season and Anigo's out of form team have now gone four games without a win.

It promises to be a long end of season run in for Marseille who were booed off their pitch by unhappy home fans.

For Rennes this was a welcome victory, pushing them up a place to a comforting six points above the relegation zone.

Marseille midfielder Mathieu Valbuena described the defeat as "catastrophic" when interviewed by French television.

"It's our fault we are in the position where we are today," he added.

Rennes' goal hero Doucoure commented: "We knew we could pull off a result here and I'm happy for the team. Now we have to fight till the end."

On Friday runaway Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain kept up the momentum on their title defence with a 1-0 win on Lorient's artificial pitch, Thiago Motta scoring the winning goal.

Second-placed Monaco host third-placed Lille on Sunday looking to increase the gap between the teams, which currently sits at nine points, while Saint-Etienne host Sochaux and Lyon in fifth go to Guingamp.

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