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Marseille move to the fore in France

Published: Sunday 12 April 2009, 19.00CET
Olympique de Marseille are the new Ligue 1 leaders after a 4-1 home victory against Grenoble Foot 38 took them a point clear at the top, with titleholders Olympique Lyonnais only able to draw 2-2 with AS Monaco FC.
Marseille move to the fore in France
Brandão completed the scoring for Marseille ©Getty Images
Published: Sunday 12 April 2009, 19.00CET

Marseille move to the fore in France

Olympique de Marseille are the new Ligue 1 leaders after a 4-1 home victory against Grenoble Foot 38 took them a point clear at the top, with titleholders Olympique Lyonnais only able to draw 2-2 with AS Monaco FC.

Olympique de Marseille are the new Ligue 1 leaders after a 4-1 home victory against Grenoble Foot 38 took them a point clear at the top, with perennial champions Olympique Lyonnais only able to draw 2-2 at home with AS Monaco FC.

Fading force
Claude Puel's Lyon have now won just two of their last six league outings and are in serious danger of relinquishing the title they have hoarded for the last seven seasons. Far from their impenetrable best at the Stade de Gerland, they twice fell behind to Monaco, with Jerko Leko volleying in to round off an expert counterattack after 34 minutes. Cris levelled the scores from a Juninho Pernambucano free-kick on 65 minutes, but the visitors went back in front immediately from the kick-off, Juan Pablo Pino rounding Hugo Lloris and finishing from a tight angle.

Double substitution
Despite Frédéric Piquionne again putting Lyon back on equal terms with nine minutes remaining, Les Gones were unable to find a winner and now trail Marseille in the standings. Beaten 2-0 at FC Shakhtar Donetsk in the opening leg of their UEFA Cup quarter-final on Thursday, OM initially lacked spark against their 14th-placed visitors and it took two half-time substitutions to get them going. Erik Gerets brought on Lorik Cana and Sylvain Wiltord for Tyrone Mears and Mamadou Niang and six minutes later Taye Taiwo put Marseille in front from the penalty spot, following a foul on Mathieu Valbuena.

Taiwo haul
Vitorino Hilton then headed in from a corner close to the hour mark and Taiwo notched his second with a long-distance effort after 65 minutes. With the outcome assured, Brandão registered a minute from time before a last-gasp Laurent Courtois consolation. Five points behind the new leaders, meanwhile, LOSC Lille Métropole and Paris Saint-Germain FC played out a goalless stalemate in northern France that leaves them fifth and sixth respectively.

 

Last updated: 13/04/09 10.30CET

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