Mon, Oct 24, 2011 - Page 18 News List

Marseille silence boo birds with triumph over Ajaccio

AFP, PARIS

Olympique de Marseille’s Rod Fanni, center, and Ajaccio’s Carl Medjani vie for the ball during their match in Marseille, France, on Saturday.

Photo: Reuters

Olympique de Marseille ignored angry protests from their disillusioned fans to beat promoted AC Ajaccio 2-0 on Saturday and secure just their second victory of the Ligue 1 season.

A silent protest from home fans meant that Marseille took to the pitch at Stade Velodrome amid a surreal atmosphere.

Banners in the crowd compared the players to “tramps” and “rats” and called for former coach Eric Gerets to be reinstated at the expense of his successor, Didier Deschamps.

The hosts did not help their cause in the 21st minute when Ajaccio goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa repelled Andre Ayew’s penalty and follow-up effort after Arnaud Maire had been penalized for handball.

However, Ayew atoned for his miss with a brace either side of halftime that secured a first victory for Marseille since a 2-0 win over Evian Thonon Gaillard.

His first goal arrived on the half-hour and was set up by his younger brother, Jordan, who flicked on Cesar Azpilicueta’s long throw for Andre to dispatch a right-footed volley into the bottom-left corner.

Andre completed his brace four minutes into the second period, heading home a right-wing cross from Mathieu Valbuena, who has already contributed six assists to the Marseille cause in Ligue 1 this season.

Victory took Deschamps’ side up three places to 12th, while Ajaccio slipped to the foot of the table.

Second-placed Montpellier Herault won 3-1 at Stade Malherbe Caen to draw level on points with leaders Paris Saint-Germain.

Center-back Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa headed in a Younes Belhanda free-kick to break the deadlock in the 14th minute, before John Utaka doubled the visitors’ lead with a fine rising drive six minutes later.

Toulouse weathered the second-half dismissal of Serbian right-back Pavle Ninkov to secure a 0-0 draw at seventh-placed Lorient that took Alain Casanova’s side up one place to fifth.

Veteran midfielder Laurent Batlles’ second-half header gave AS Saint-Etienne a 1-0 win at home to Valenciennes that lifted les Verts to eighth, while an injury-time Aldo Angoula header earned Evian a 1-1 draw at Sochaux-Montbeliard.

Elsewhere, AS Nancy-Lorraine hauled themselves off the bottom by beating OGC Nice 1-0 at home, but Girondins de Bordeaux remained in the relegation zone after Eden Ben Basat’s 63rd-minute equalizer gave Stade Brestois 29 a 1-1 draw at Stade Chaban Delmas.

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