Kevin Strootman scored a late winner as Marseille edged out high-flying Rennes 1-0 on Friday to move within four points of Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain.
Andre Villas-Boas’ men clinched victory in a tight encounter when Dutch midfielder Strootman volleyed into an empty net after Dimitri Payet’s 84th-minute free-kick hit the post.
The visitors stretch their unbeaten run to nine games and moved eight points clear of the Bretons with the win.
“A draw might have been fairer for a match like that,” Villas-Boas said.
“It’s a very good result for us as we move away from our opponents in the table.”
Reigning champions PSG have two games in hand on Marseille and face Robert Moreno’s Monaco on Sunday and again three days later in a rescheduled match.
Marseille are bidding for a first French title since 2010 and underlined their credentials as PSG’s closest challengers by ending third-placed Rennes’ five-game winning streak.
Visiting goalkeeper Steve Mandanda only had to make one difficult save to deny Benjamin Bourigeaud just before half-time at Roazhon Park, after Alvaro had struck the woodwork for Marseille.
On Saturday, struggling Lyon visit Bordeaux, while Lille have the chance to leapfrog Rennes and move into the Champions League places when they face Dijon on Sunday.