• France's news in English

Marseille win to keep slender lead over PSG

AFP · 8 Dec 2014, 08:48

Published: 08 Dec 2014 08:48 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Marseille reclaimed top spot in Ligue 1 from Paris Saint-Germain with a hard-earned 3-1 victory over Metz at the Stade Velodrome on Sunday evening.

Andre Ayew, making his first appearance in more than a month after injury, and Dimitri Payet scored to secure the win after Andre-Pierre Gignac's first-half opener had been cancelled out by Florent Malouda.

An eighth consecutive home win for Marcelo Bielsa's side means they end the weekend one point clear of defending champions PSG, who beat Nantes 2-1 on Saturday.

Marseille have not lost at home to Metz since 2004, when Franck Ribery was in the away side, but they endured an uncomfortable first half, creating little and requiring Steve Mandanda to make two fine saves from Malouda.

A Payet shot that flashed over on 34 minutes was the hosts' first chance, and their first attempt on target, two minutes prior to the interval, brought the opening goal.

Payet whipped in a cross from the left for the unmarked Gignac to head home his 12th of the season, and 50th Ligue 1 goal for Marseille, from close range.

Metz were back level just 18 seconds into the second half as Juan Falcon teed up Malouda, whose shot from the edge of the area beat Mandanda thanks to
a deflection off Nicolas Nkoulou.

However, Marseille were not to be denied, as Ayew marked his first appearance since picking up an injury on international duty last month by following up to score after Alaixys Romao's shot had hit the post on 59 minutes.

Gignac and Ayew both had chances to score again but it was the in-form Payet who wrapped up the points in injury time with a cool finish after being set up by Rod Fanni.

"It was tough, honestly. But that shows we have character," Payet told Canal Plus. "We need to improve. Things smiled for us tonight but we could
have a tricky time against other teams if we play like that."

Lacazette rescues Lyon 

Earlier, a stoppage-time penalty from Ligue 1's leading scorer Alexandre Lacazette allowed Lyon to win 3-2 at Evian and move back into third place.

Lyon twice trailed in Annecy to goals from the veteran Cedric Barbosa, but Lacazette equalised with nine minutes left before hammering home from the spot four minutes into injury time.

A second hard-earned win in the space of 72 hours ensured that Hubert Fournier's side are now back on track after their humbling 3-0 loss at bitter rivals Saint-Etienne last weekend and allowed them to climb back above Les Verts and Bordeaux, who triumphed on Saturday.

Evian were dealt a blow before kick-off when talented Danish winger Daniel Wass was forced to withdraw from the side due to illness.

Wass had scored stunning free-kicks in each of his side's last two matches, but Barbosa came into the starting XI and produced a memorable dead-ball strike of his own.

Now 38, Barbosa gave the hosts the lead just before the half-hour mark with a curling free-kick from 30 yards into the top left-hand corner of the net.

Story continues below…

And after Yassine Benzia, in his first start in a year, tapped in when Lacazette's free-kick was blocked by goalkeeper Jesper Hansen, Barbosa restored Evian's lead seconds later by finishing at the end of a quick counter-attack.

However, France international Lacazette controlled a Nabil Fekir corner at the far post and volleyed in to restore parity, and then slammed home from the spot after a handball by substitute Adrien Thomasson to take his tally for the season to 13.

Northern rivals Lens and Lille drew 1-1 at the Stade de France while Guingamp won 3-2 at Reims.

On Saturday, PSG temporarily went top and maintained their record as the only unbeaten team left in Europe's leading leagues this season by coming from behind to beat Nantes 2-1 at the Parc des Princes with Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring twice, including the winner from a ferocious free-kick.

There were also wins for Nice and Montpellier, while Dimitar Berbatov scored twice as Monaco won 2-0 at Toulouse on Friday.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

UK border must move back, says 'next French president'
Photo: AFP

If favourite Alain Juppé is elected, Britain and France are in for some difficult negotiations.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available