Thu, Jan 13, 2005 - Page 19 News List

Marseille rises with win


Striker Steve Marlet scored one goal and set up another Tuesday to lead Marseille over second-place Lille 2-1 and into fourth place in the French first division.

It was Lille's first home loss of the season.

Marlet opened the scoring in the third minute and then assisted on Samir Nasri's goal in the 22nd. Philippe Brunel got one back for Lille, scoring from the penalty spot in the 52nd minute as the league returned from a three-week winter break.

Marseille now has 32 points from 20 matches, behind Auxerre on goal difference. Lille remains in second place with 36 points, three less than three-time defending champion Lyon.

Lyon can stretch its lead to six points if it beats Sochaux today.

Marseille, which was humiliated by minnow Angers in the French Cup on Saturday, took an early lead as Habib Beye headed a floated kick to Marlet, who then poked the ball past goalkeeper Tony Sylva for his 50th career goal in the French top flight.

Marseille doubled its lead following a blunder by Greek defender Efstathois Tavlaridis, who slipped when trying to clear a routine long ball under no pressure.

Marlet profited from the error and then passed to Nasri, allowing the 17-year-old to tap home his first career goal.

Lille nearly got one back immediately, but Brunel's swerving strike was tipped over by 'keeper Fabien Barthez.

Brunel later scored from the penalty spot after Matt Moussilou was fouled by Beye.

Steven Gerrard scored in the 56th minute Tuesday to lift Liverpool over Watford 1-0 in the first leg of the League Cup semifinals, giving the Reds the edge going into the second leg in two weeks.

Watford controlled most of the play in the first half, but Gerrard's goal -- his eighth of the season -- gave Liverpool the edge in the second half at Anfield before 6,000 traveling Watford fans.

The winner faces either Manchester United or Chelsea on Feb. 27 in the final in Cardiff, Wales. Man United and Chelsea play their first-leg match on Wednesday.

On Saturday, Liverpool faces Manchester United in the Premier League.

Liverpool fielded a full-strength team with only defender Sami Hyypia missing with the flu. Coach Rafa Benitez left striker Milan Baros on the bench in the first half, but inserted him in the second and his speed immediately troubled Watford.

Baros and Florent Sinama-Pongolle helped set up the winning goal.

Watford plays in the League Championship -- the old first division -- and is in 16th place, only seven points above relegation.

Atletico Madrid was handed a small fine after some of its fans bellowed monkey chants at Real Madrid's Roberto Carlos, news reports said Wednesday.

Spain's soccer federation ordered Atletico to pay 600 euros (US$787) after referee Alfonso Perez Burrull reported the incidents at Sunday's league game at its Vicente Calderon Stadium, Spanish national radio said. Real won 3-0.

Perez Burrull said Atletico supporters continued to target Roberto Carlos -- a black Brazilian defender -- with monkey chants even though the referee's request for the chanting to stop was broadcast over stadium loudspeakers.

Atletico's fine is the same as that meted out to Albacete last month after some of its fans taunted FC Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o during a league game in December. The fine was subsequently reduced by half following an appeal.

Last month, the federation cited national team coach Luis Aragones for making racist remarks about Arsenal's French striker Thierry Henry during a training session.

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