- Associated Press - Saturday, March 12, 2016

PARIS (AP) - Marseille had goalkeeper Steve Mandanda to thank for scraping a 1-1 draw at Lorient in the French league on Saturday as its miserable season continues.

While runaway league leader Paris Saint-Germain can seal a fourth straight title in style with eight games to go if it wins at Troyes on Sunday, Marseille is in 10th place and trails PSG by 35 points.

Meanwhile, Nice moved provisionally up to third spot with a 2-0 win away to Montpellier, thanks to second-half goals from forwards Valere Germain and Alassane Plea, who was set up by winger Hatem Ben Arfa.

Saint-Etienne and Caen both lost ground in the chase for third place after losses.

Mandanda has been his side’s best player and the France No. 2 made a brilliant save from left back Raphael Guerreiro late on as Marseille drew its league-leading 15th game this season.

“Luckily we had Mandanda, so a big thanks to him,” Marseille’s Spanish coach Michel said, while also criticizing his team’s attitude. “Steve is the soul of the club. He knows what Marseille’s all about and tries to get that across to the others.”

It does not seem to be working, however, as Marseille has not won in six matches - drawing five straight since losing 2-1 at home to PSG on Feb. 7.

“We have to face up to things and find the real answers,” a stern-faced Michel said after another disjointed performance.

Striker Majeed Waris gave Lorient the lead in the 34th minute and Chile midfielder Mauricio Isla - on loan from Italian champion Juventus - equalized just after halftime.

Early in the first half, Mandanda made fine saves from Waris and strike partner Benjamin Jeannot before winger Remy Cabella missed a good chance for Marseille.

Waris scored from midfielder Walid Mesloub’s pass, while Isla latched onto the loose ball after striker Michy Batshuayi’s shot was blocked.

“We played very badly in the first half,” Marseille midfielder Bouna Sarr said. “There’s a lot of frustration and anger. We’re gutted to come away with a draw.”

To add to the frustration, Marseille defenders Benjamin Mendy and Karim Rekik came off with injuries and Cabella twisted his right ankle late on and will have further tests, the club said.

“You’ll have to ask him (Mendy) why he’s always injured,” Michel added on the club’s television channel.

Sixth-place Caen lost 1-0 at Corsican side Gazelec Ajaccio, which is also fighting relegation and sits in 18th spot. Seventh-place Saint-Etienne lost 2-0 at 16th-place Guingamp, which moved closer to safety.

Lille leapfrogged Marseille into ninth spot after securing a 2-1 win at Bastia, the league’s other Corsican side, with goals from midfielders Sofiane Boufal and Ibrahim Amadou.

Elsewhere, striker Wissam Ben Yedder scored twice as Toulouse beat 10-man Bordeaux 4-0 to maintain its slim chances of avoiding relegation.

Ben Yedder struck in the fifth minute and then from the penalty spot in the 50th after Bordeaux center half Lamine Sane had been sent off.

Strike partner Martin Braithwaite and midfielder Oscar Trejo added late goals for Toulouse, which is in 19th place and remains seven points behind Gazelec and Reims.

Nantes hosts Angers and Lyon travels to play Rennes in Sunday’s other games.

Monaco drew 2-2 at home to Reims on Friday night.

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