PARIS ( Associated Press) — Wissam ben Yedder scored a near-instant hat-trick as Monaco rallied from two goals down to beat Brest 4-2 on Saturday for their ninth French league win and move past second place to Marseille.
That second step grants the automatic ticket to the Champions League.
Brest led 2-0 midway through the first half, but Ben Yedder equalized from the penalty spot just after the break. At 51 minutes, the French striker scored in a great individual action and at 55 he completed his hat trick with an accurate header.
Ben Yedder accumulates nine goals in the same number of games. His partner in attack, Kevin Volland, made it 4-2 in the 70th minute after Ben Yedder’s volley was parried.
With one date left in the season, Monaco and Marseille are level on points. The whole of the principality has a better goal difference.
Marseille fell 2-0 to Rennes, which came in fourth place, which grants automatic qualification for the Europa League.
Ben Yedder’s prolific campaign includes 24 goals scored in the league, one fewer than top scorer Kylian Mbappé, who scored from a second-half penalty to give Paris Saint-Germain, already crowned champions, a beating of Montpellier. 4-0 away.
Lionel Messi scored the first two goals and fellow Argentine Ángel di María scored the third, all in the first half.
Elsewhere, Nice fell 3-1 to last season’s champions Lille to drop to sixth place; Bordeaux was all but doomed to relegation after drawing 0-0 with Lorient, while Metz beat Angers 1-0 to move past Saint-Etienne, beaten 2-1 by Reims, into 18th place.
In addition, Lyon beat Nantes 3-2; Strasbourg beat Clermont 1-0, and Lens beat Troyes 3-1.
Corsica’s Ajaccio were promoted from the second division, while Auxerre will play the playoffs.