LEAGUE1 : Last-gasp Fanni goal lifts Marseille into second place

Reuters, PARIS

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 - Page 18

A last-gasp Rod Fanni goal earned Olympique de Marseille a 1-0 home win over mid-table Valenciennes, lifting them to second place in Ligue 1 on Saturday within five points of leaders Paris Saint-Germain.

Marseille struggled for inspiration until four minutes into stoppage-time when fullback Fanni latched on to a Jeremy Morel cross and scored.

The Provence side, who have 46 points from 25 games, kept the pressure on PSG, who were set to travel to Sochaux-Montbeliard yesterday.

Third-placed Olympique Lyonnais, one point behind Marseille, were due to visit Girondins de Bordeaux yesterday.

Andre-Pierre Gignac wasted a couple of chances for Marseille in the first half as Valenciennes seemed happy to sit back.

Gignac was set up by Mathieu Valbuena’s through ball with goalkeeper Nicolas Penneteau’s ill-timed charge allowing the striker to lob him, only for the effort to go wide. The France international then fluffed a routine shot from close range.

Three minutes from time, Fanni pounced on a Valbuena free-kick and his effort shaved Penneteau’s left post, but he managed to find the net in stoppage-time to secure the victory.

The defeat left Valenciennes 11th on 33 points.

OGC Nice climbed to fourth on 42 points after teenager Neal Maupay’s goal on the hour secured a 1-0 win at SC Bastia, who were back at the Stade Armand Cesari after playing four games behind closed doors.

The stadium was originally closed to supporters indefinitely in December last year following crowd trouble.

Champions Montpellier Herault beat basement club AS Nancy-Lorraine 1-0 with an Emmanuel Herrera goal and moved up a place to ninth on 38 points, with Nancy stuck on 18 points, five from safety.

Toulouse salvaged a last-gasp 2-2 draw at home to second-bottom ES Troyes AC after being 2-0 down when the visitors’ Benjamin Nivet put through his own goal in the 88th minute, two minutes after Eden ben Basat scored to give the hosts hope.

Third-bottom Evian Thonon Gaillard lost 2-1 at Lorient, who prevailed with a Jeremie Aliadiere penalty just before the break and a second-half goal from Kevin Monnet Pacquet, before Betao got a late consolation for the visitors. Evian have 23 points.

In Saturday’s other match, Stade Brestois 29 were held 1-1 at home by ACAjaccio.

Additional reporting by Staff writer