Already guaranteed a top-three berth after Monaco’s loss at Lyon yesterday evening, Marseille’s task in hand was complicated by the suspension of Dimitri Payet for violent conduct a fortnight ago. And the visitors were then forced into another change on 19 minutes, when Samuel Gigot received an accidental boot to the head from Carlos Baleba early on, with Issa Kabore taking his place.
But the hosts suffered an untimely injury of their own soon after, as Ismaily was withdrawn with what appeared to be a muscle problem in favour of Gabriel Gudmundsson.
The opening half-hour wasn’t all about injuries though, and L’OM took the lead on 29 minutes via the game’s maiden shot on goal.
Deputising for Lille’s suspended first-choice centre-backs Jose Fonte and Alexsandro, 17-year-old Leny Yoro saw a rookie-standard pass put Benjamin Andre under unnecessary pressure, causing the captain to lose possession.
After neat passes by Jonathan Clauss and Cengiz Under in response, Ruslan Malinovsky managed to release the former. In turn, he sped clear and toe-poked the ball against the luckless Lucas Chevalier, causing it to spin into the air and agonisingly beat the recovering Bafode Diakite on the goalline.
Clauss should have doubled his advantage on the stroke of half-time as Yoro was caught in possession, but after exchanging passes with Alexis Sanchez, the 30-year-old blazed over from close range.
That miss proved costly less than five minutes into the second period, as Chancel Mbemba unwisely chose to leave a loose ball that he assumed would run through to his goalkeeper, Pau Lopez.
Instead, Baleba pounced, forcing the Spaniard to upend him for a penalty kick. Aiming to finally hit his Ligue 1 half-century with Les Dogues after three games without finding the net, David dispatched the resulting penalty for his 22nd league strike of the campaign.
Paulo Fonseca’s men now looked like a renewed force, but soon had their hearts in their mouths when Clauss slipped in Sanchez to finish coolly, only for the Chilean’s effort to be ruled offside following a VAR check.
Sensing an opportunity to capitalise on Marseille’s sense of disappointment, Lille’s head coach then threw on Angel Gomes and Remy Cabella for Baleba and the injured Andre Gomes, while Igor Tudor opted to introduce Vitinha as substitute Kabore was taken off.
It proved to be a masterstroke from the Portuguese tactician, as Gomes and Cabella were soon involved in the home side’s second, with the latter floating a gorgeous cross to the back post for Bamba to head home a clinical winner.
As a result, Marseille now only have second-placed Lens in their sights for what remains of the campaign, while Lille remain fifth despite the victory, which has ensured them a spot in next season’s UEFA Europa Conference League at the very least.