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Ligue 1 wrap: Marseille keep pace at top

Marseille kept the pressure on PSG and Lyon with a 1-0 victory over Saint-Etienne in Ligue 1 on Sunday.

Elie Baup’s side remained third with the victory but more crucially they joined the league-leading sides on 38 points at the top.

They may be some distance behind PSG and Lyon on goal difference but the victory also opened up a six-point lead on fourth-placed Rennes for Marseille.

The win – which was their third on the trot – came thanks to Andre Ayew’s goal in first-half stoppage time.

The Ghanaian converted Rod Fanni’s assist and that was enough to give them victory against a Saint-Etienne who have struggled for form in recent weeks.

After they went unbeaten in 12, Saint-Etienne have now failed to win in five matches and they have dropped to 10th on the table as a result.

Valenciennes moved to sixth on the table after a 2-1 win against Evian.

After a winless streak of three, Valenciennes headed into the winter break with a boost thanks to their home win that was sealed by Jose Saez’s late winner.

Gregory Pujol gave Valenciennes the lead after 14 minutes with a smart finish after Rudy Mater’s cross was helped on by Aldo Angoua.

Tunisian attacker Saber Khelifa levelled proceedings on 32 minutes though as he made the most of Yannick Sagbo’s assist.

Valenciennes missed a golden opportunity to take the lead early in the second half when Mathieu Dossevi fluffed a chance from the penalty spot.

But a red card to Evian midfielder Djakaridja Kone with 18 minutes left swung the match in the favour of Valenciennes again.

And this time they converted on their good fortune when substitute Saez bagged the winner after 74 minutes.

Evian sit in 17th on the table, just three points above the relegation zone.

In the day’s other match, Toulouse were 2-0 winners over strugglers Sochaux.

Adrien Regattin opened the scoring after 26 minutes for Toulouse, who sealed the three points with Emmanuel Riviere’s late strike.

Sun 23 December, 2012
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