Monday, December 9, 2019

Marseille in French goal rush to top

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 12 Apr 2009

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Marseille moved into pole position in the French league on Sunday with a 4-1 destruction of Grenoble at the Stade Velodrome, though Lyon were later hoping to wrest back the leadership.

Marseille romped to three points with four second-half goals as the former European champions raced onto 61 points from 31 games to overhaul overnight leaders Bordeaux.

Lyon were out to defeat Monaco in the late game which would take the reigning champions a point clear once again.

With Lyon having shown recent bouts of inconsistency, their quest for an eighth straight championship success hangs in the balance and both Lille and Paris Saint Germain, who were also facing off later Sunday, were bidding to keep their own title challenge alive.

Both had 55 points from 30 games going into that encounter.

Marseille, seeking a first league title in 17 years, took things easy in the opening period against a Grenoble side who are still not safe from the drop before Nigerian defender Taye Taiwo grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck for the hosts.

Taiwo fired in from the penalty spot after 52 minutes after Mathieu Valbuena was brought down in the box to sooth increasingly restless fans and for good measure he then hit the third on 64 minutes after Vitorino Hilton had first fired home number two, deflecting a Valbuena effort.

Hatem Ben Arfa and Lorik Cana then combined to set up Brazilian Brandao, who fired home a fizzing effort before Laurent Courtois notched a consolation in stoppage time.

Bordeaux had gone top on Saturday with a 2-0 win at Auxerre achieved with goals from Brazilians Fernando and Geraldo Wendel.

Fernando struck ten minutes before the interval and Wendel added the second in the 80th minute to cheer Laurent Blanc’s Girondins.

Blanc is busy turning his side into true title material and complimented his side for a highly professional showing.

“You’re always happy with a win. We can make still better use of the ball. But when you go away and win 2-0 without suffering too much that is very satisfying and I take my hat off to the players,” said the former Marseille, Inter Milan, Barcelona and Manchester United stopper.

Also Saturday, Toulouse moved provisionally a point clear of PSG and Lille into fourth spot to keep alive their own unlikely bid for glory as an Andre-Pierre Gignac’s 19th goal of the campaign saw off Nantes, who are stuck in the drop zone which Caen exited thanks to a 2-1 success at Le Havre.

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