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Ligue 1: Marseille 2 Valenciennes 1

Marseille secured just their second league win under Jose Anigo with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Valenciennes on Wednesday.

Anigo replaced Elie Baup in early December but, after seeing his side eliminated from both cup competitions this month, he has come under fire from the south-coast club’s fans, whose abuse was enough to see the 52-year-old cancel a pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s 2-0 loss to Monaco.

OM had looked toothless on that trip but they took their chances well enough at home to Valenciennes to breathe life back into their attempts to seal European football.

Florian Thauvin blazed an early opening over the crossbar but the hosts’ pressure eventually paid off on the half-hour mark.

Valenciennes appeared to be in little trouble as they took a throw-in in their own half, but Eloge Enza Yamissi’s mis-hit backpass put Andre-Pierre Gignac clear on goal, with the striker touching the ball around the goalkeeper before slotting home.

Although they had enjoyed little attacking impetus, the visitors drew level just six minutes later when Arthur Masuaku burst down the left wing and hit a miscued cross, which wrong-footed goalkeeper Steve Mandanda and swerved in at the near post.

Mathieu Dossevi should have completed the turnaround five minutes before the break, but he fired wide from 10 yards.

Anigo’s side regained the momentum after the interval and retook the lead on 63 minutes, Thauvin surging down the left channel before smashing a low shot past visiting goalkeeper Nicolas Penneteau at his near post to seal a win that moves them into fifth in the table, while Valenciennes remain in the relegation zone, three points from safety.

Wed 29 January, 2014
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