Olympique de Marseille continue to lead the way in Ligue 1 thanks to a 4-1 triumph over OGC Nice, with AJ Auxerre second after they prevailed 1-0 at AS Nancy-Lorraine.
With champions FC Girondins de Bordeaux suffering another defeat on Saturday and Montpellier Hérault SC only able to draw, Marseille gave their title hopes a major boost with seven games left to play. The French League Cup winners were in control from the start and eventually went ahead through Bakari Koné, the diminutive forward beating goalkeeper David Ospina in a one-on-one situation three minutes before the break.
Didier Deschamps's men began the second half well too, with Stéphane Mbia heading in a Lucho González corner seven minutes in. Mathieu Valbuena then hit Marseille's third with the inside of his right foot 20 minutes from time, and moments later Souleymane Diawara headed in another Lucho corner. Emerse Faé added a late consolation for Nice, but it was not enough to prevent OM lifting themselves back to the top of the table.
Two points behind them, and having played one game more, second-placed Auxerre enhanced their chances of winning only their second title courtesy of Daniel Niculae's 88th-minute winner at Nancy. The Romanian international scored at the second attempt after latching on to a Benoît Pedretti cross.
Third-placed Olympique Lyonnais failed to join Auxerre on 60 points as they could only draw 1-1 with LOSC Lille Métropole, seven points off the top in sixth. Pierre-Alain Frau put Lille ahead with a deflected effort just after the hour, but they lost Ricardo Costa to a 70th-minute red card and were pegged back by a Cris header just seconds later. Lyon also ended the game a man short as Maxime Gonalons was dismissed 11 minutes from time.
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|Last updated: 02/07/2011 06:30 CET|
Jourdren 73 (o.g.)