Marseille back on top French league

Monday, September 03, 2012

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PARIS, France (AFP) — Marseille moved back to the top of the League One tableyesteray after continuing their perfect start to the campaign thanks to a 3-1 home victory against Rennes at the Stade Velodrome.

New signing Joey Barton could not play as he continues to serve a 12-game ban handed down for incidents while at Queens Park Rangers at the end of last season, but the Englishman looked impressed as he watched Andre-Pierre Gignac's magnificent 84th-minute volley fly past Rennes 'keeper Benoit Costil to put the home side 2-1 up.

Before that, OM appeared in danger of dropping their first points of the season after Julien Feret thumped a volley high past Steve Mandanda from close range in the 57th minute to cancel out full-back Jeremy Morel's first Ligue 1 goal for Marseille, which arrived before the interval.

Loic Remy came off the bench and missed two glorious chances to add to Marseille's lead before Rennes captain Romain Danze turned a cross into his own net in stoppage time to seal the points for the home side.

Marseille are two points clear of Lyon at the summit thanks to their best start to a season since they returned to the top flight from a sojourn in the second division in 1996, and their miserable end to last season is now but a distant memory.

Earlier yesterday, Bordeaux continued their unbeaten start but had to settle for a point in a 1-1 draw with Nice at the Stade Chaban-Delmas.

Three days after a dramatic win against Red Star Belgrade that took Les Girondins into the Europa League group stage, Francis Gillot's side were lacking in inspiration against their visitors from the south coast.

After Bordeaux were reduced to 10 men when Lamine Sane was sent off just after the hour mark, the match appeared all set to end goalless until substitute Henri Saivet struck for the hosts with four minutes remaining.

But Nice levelled two minutes into injury time thanks to a cute lob from Mahamane Traore.

Nice are still looking for their first win under new coach Claude Puel.

In a late game yesterday, winless Paris Saint-Germain were due to head to Lille for the game of the weekend at the northern club's new Grand Stade.




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