Joey Barton was at the center of both goals as Olympique de Marseille bounced back from their crushing defeat to Olympique Lyonnais last week by clinching a 2-1 win at Stade Brestois 29 on Sunday.
Elie Baup’s men, swept aside 4-1 by Lyon on Wednesday, were back in business, inflicting a first home loss of the season on Brest to move up two places into second on 29 points, two behind their midweek tormentors.
Souleymane Diawara put Marseille into a 34th-minute lead. Set up by Barton, the Senegal defender, largely absent in last Wednesday’s game, broke the deadlock when firing the ball under the crossbar from the edge of the box.
Brest were back on level terms three minutes before the break, with close-season signing Dutch striker Charlison Benschop wrong footing Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda off a corner.
The second half was 11 minutes old when Marseille regained the advantage.
Once again Barton was key, the English midfielder picking up Mathieu Valbuena’s cross to feed Andre Ayew, who poked the ball home past Brest goalkeeper Alexis Thebaux.
Marseille, who dominated most of the game, deservedly held on for a welcome three points.
It was a bright ending to an uncomfortable week for Marseille, some of whose fans were critical of club president Vincent Labrune for openly laughing during their team’s defeat to Lyon in images shown on French television.
“Barton’s a fresh player, unlike others,” Baup said. “He is ready and able to play consecutive matches. He was a key passer and on the go throughout the game.”
Elsewhere, Ligue 1 strugglers ES Troyes AC relinquished a two-goal lead as they fell 3-2 at home to Stade Rennais, extending their winless run to six matches.
First-half strikes from Benjamin Nivet and Stephane Darbion gave the side second from bottom a 2-0 advantage at the break, before Romain Alessandrini pulled one back for Rennes three minutes after the restart.
However, two goals in the final 10 minutes from Julien Feret and Jonathan Pitroipa completed the Rennes comeback, as Frederic Antonetti’s side recorded their seventh win in nine matches.
Meanwhile, Toulouse’s poor run continued as Benjamin Corgnet scored on the stroke of halftime to give Lorient a 1-0 win at the Stade du Moustoir.