Marseille leapfrog Lyon
Marseille overtook Lyon at the top of Ligue 1 on Sunday after they beat Grenoble 4-1 and the seven-times champions only drew 2-2 at home to mid-table Monaco. The first goal that led to Lyon’s downfall was scored in the 34th minute by Croatian midfielder Jerko Leko, who was perfectly set up by a backpass from South Korea’s Park Chu-young after a swift counterattack. Lyon’s France striker Karim Benzema hit the woodwork five minutes later and the champions had another chance on the hour when Monaco keeper Stephane Ruffier blocked Jean Makoun’s header. Five minutes later, Lyon got back into the game when Cris headed home a Juninho long-range free-kick, but just a minute later Colombian striker Juan Pablo Pino had put Monaco back in front. Lyon leveled nine minutes from time when Frederic Piquionne’s scissor-kick went in after a scramble in the penalty area. They pushed hard to snatch a victory, but Monaco’s defense held tight. A few hours earlier, in a packed Stade Velodrome, Marseille had to wait until the 52nd minute for their opener, which came when Nigerian defender Taye Taiwo converted a penalty after Laurent Battles brought down Mathieu Valbuena. Brazilian central defender Hilton made it two seven minutes later, heading home a Valbuena corner. Taiwo sealed Marseille’s victory with his second, blasting in a 25m free-kick in the 65th minute and Brazilian striker Brandao added another one minute from time. Also on Sunday, Lille and Paris Saint-Germain shared the points in a 0-0 draw.
Ajax knock in seven
Luis Suarez scored three goals, including two from the penalty spot, to help Ajax rout Willem II 7-0 on Sunday and keep alive the team’s hopes of playing in the Champions League next season. Dario Cvitanich scored first for Ajax in the second minute from Suarez’s pass. He then set up Cameroon midfielder Eyong Enoh for the second in the 10th minute. Cvitanich got the third in the 20th minute, before Suarez made it 4-0 from the penalty spot in the 35th minute after defender Gregory van der Wiel was fouled in the area. Urby Emanuelson collected Cvitanich’s pass to score the fifth in the 45th minute and Suarez scored two more goals in the second half to bring his season tally to 20. Willem II’s Angelo Martha was dismissed in the 82nd minute for fouling Suarez, who then scored his seventh penalty of the season. Also on Sunday, veteran striker Roy Makaay scored a hat-trick, including a 59th-minute penalty, to help Feyenoord defeat Heracles Almelo 5-1. Kelvin Leerdam and Denny Landzaat scored the other goals for Feyenoord, while Bas Dost netted a 34th-minute consolation for Heracles. Viktor Elm scored in the 53rd minute to help SC Heerenveen beat FC Volendam 1-0, and Lasse Nilsson, Civard Sprockel and Ricky van Wolfswinkel scored a goal each to give Vitesse Arnhem a 3-2 win at FC Groningen.
Flamengo earn final spot
Defender Juan scored a first-half goal to give Flamengo a 1-0 win over rivals Fluminense and a spot in the Rio Cup final on Sunday. Flamengo will face Botafogo, who routed Vasco 4-0 in the other semi-final on Saturday. Corinthians earned a last-minute 2-1 victory at Sao Paulo in the first leg of the state championship semi-finals after defending champions Palmeiras fell 2-1 to Santos on Saturday. Juan gave Flamengo the win in front of nearly 70,000 fans at Maracana Stadium with a low left-footed shot from outside the area.