Marseille claim their first victory in eight matches


Tue, Nov 12, 2013 - Page 18

Andre-Pierre Gignac scored a late penalty as Olympique de Marseille defeated strugglers Sochaux-Montbeliard 2-1 in Ligue 1 for their first win in eight games.

Gignac struck his spot-kick firmly down the middle in the 83rd minute for his fifth league goal of the season, handing Marseille their first win since Sept. 28 after six defeats and one draw in their previous seven games.

Defender Mathieu Peybernes was adjudged to have handled Gignac’s shot and the referee gave the penalty after consulting his assistant, prompting an angry reaction from Sochaux coach Herve Renard.

Marseille, which have lost all four of their matches in the UEFA Champions League this season, are in fifth place with 21 points, two points behind fourth-placed Nantes, which won 3-0 at Girondins de Bordeaux earlier on Sunday.

Winger Florian Thauvin scored for the third time in the past four games to put Marseille ahead in the fifth minute, heading in Benjamin Mendy’s cross from the left, and he almost scored again midway through the first half only to be denied by goalkeeper Simon Pouplin.

Zambia striker Emmanuel Mayuka leveled in the 60th minute with a superb strike from the right side of the penalty area into the top-left corner.

Moments after the equalizer, Pouplin made a smart save to keep out forward Jordan Ayew’s angled drive, then it was Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda’s turn to shine as he flung himself to block midfielder Roy Contout’s drive.

Sochaux remain in last place with just seven points.

Midfielder Lucas Deaux paid tribute to the large army of traveling Nantes fans after another impressive win for the newly promoted side.

“When I see other teams playing on television, there are three or four blokes watching the away team. With our lot there are three or four thousand and this inspires us,” Deaux said.

Midfielder Vincent Bessat opened the scoring shortly before halftime and defender Papy Djilobodji made it 2-0 in the 61st minute, before Filip Djordjevic grabbed his eighth goal of the season shortly after to complete a convincing win.

“We scored three away from home without conceding any, so that’s a good performance,” Bessat said.

Bordeaux’s form had improved recently, but the defeat leaves them in 11th spot.

Olympique Lyonnais improved to seventh place after a dramatic last-gasp win away to bitter local rivals AS Saint-Etienne.

Jimmy Briand headed in Yoann Gourcuff’s cross in stoppage-time to give Lyon a morale-boosting 2-1 away to their bitter local rivals.

Gourcuff came on as a substitute with 20 minutes remaining and jinked his way down the left flank, before clipping over a cross toward the penalty spot, where Briand jumped superbly to nod the ball into the top-left corner.

Alexandre Lacazette gave the visitors the lead in the 48th minute, thumping in the rebound after Bafetimbi Gomis’ header had been saved by goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier.

Winger Romain Hamouma equalized for the hosts midway through the second half after striker Brandao jumped higher than leftback Henri Bedimo and nodded the ball down to him.