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Marseille close in on football title glory

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 13 May 2009

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Marseille moved a step closer to their first league title in 17 years on Wednesday after goals from Mamadou Niang and Brandao brought a 2-0 win at local rivals Nice to send the southerners three points clear of the pack.

Niang bagged the opener after 26 minutes before Brazilian Brandao, who has averaged a goal every other game since his arrival from Shakhtar Donetsk mid-season, made the points safe on the hour.

Marseille moved onto 71 points from 35 games after their 20th league win of the campaign, but Bordeaux were out to draw level on points with a win in the late match at Valenciennes.

As the pair chase the automatic Champions League slots reigning champions Lyon may have to make do with a shot at the qualifiers as an eighth straight league title still looking beyond them despite Tuesday’s 3-0 home stroll over relegation-threatened Nantes at the Gerland stadium.

Lyon have 64 points with three games remaining – but the seven-point gap with Marseille now looks too great to close even if the former can win their outstanding tussle with the former European champions.

Jean II Makoun bagged two of Lyon’s goals, following an early header with a neat strike on 35 minutes as Claude Puel’s team rallied following a three-match goalless spell and four-game run without a win.

Anthony Mounier’s header 11 minutes from time completed the one-way traffic.

Paris Saint Germain moved to within a point of Lyon after Mateja Kezman scored Wednesday’s only goal at Le Mans.

Eight-times champions Nantes’ loss at Lyon suggests they will now struggle to beat the dreaded drop with just 33 points from their 35 games – especially as fellow former giants Saint Etienne won 4-2 at relegated Le Havre to move three points clear of the Canaries.

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