Tue, Nov 13, 2007 - Page 20 News List

Niang's double seals the deal for Marseille

AP , PARIS

PHOTO: REUTERS

Mamadou Niang scored twice to lead Marseille to a 2-1 win over Lyon on Sunday in the French league.

France playmaker Samir Nasri set up Niang, who outpaced the Lyon defense and blasted a shot through goalkeeper Remy Vercoutre's legs for the winning goal in the 43rd minute.

"That was a match with a lot of occasions on both sides," Marseille coach Eric Gerets told Canal Plus television. "Both teams had a good game. But in the end, I think we deserved the victory."

Marseille climbed into 17th place to move out of the relegation zone, while Lyon retained the top spot with 31 points from 14 matches, despite suffering its first loss at home this season in the league.

Brazilian playmaker Juninho put Lyon ahead in the 7th, heading in a rebound after goalkeeper Steve Mandanda had saved a semi-volley from Algeria leftback Nadir Belhadj.

Niang sent Vercoutre the wrong way on a spot kick to level for Marseille in the 10th. Mathieu Valbuena fed Niang inside the box, but centerback Sebastien Squillaci pulled the Senegal striker's jersey just before he shot.

Niang nearly scored on a bicycle kick in the 21st off a cross from Valbuena, but Vercoutre tipped Niang's shot over the crossbar.

Fred had two clear chances for Lyon in the first half but couldn't finish. The Brazilian forward headed a cross from Kim Kallstrom above the crossbar in the 20th. Unmarked at the far post in the 42nd, Fred missed again with a header off a corner kick from Juninho.

Lyon pushed hard after the break to rally but Mandanda preserved his team's lead.

"Unfortunately for us, Mandanda had a great game," Juninho told Canal Plus television.

The Marseille goalie denied Sidney Govou in the 47th and 53rd, and stopped a close-range shot from Karim Benzema in the 86th.

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