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Marseille storm to top, Lyon slip up

Latest update : 2009-04-18

Two goals by Taye Taiwo (pictured) helped Marseille to a 4-1 win over Grenoble and a one-point lead over Lyon, who slipped into second after they were held to a 2-2 draw against Monaco. Bordeaux, who beat Auxerre 2-0, lie in third.

AFP - Marseille moved into pole position in the French league on Sunday with a 4-1 destruction of Grenoble at the Stade Velodrome, as serial champions Lyon could only draw 2-2 at home to Monaco.

Marseille romped to victory - and a one-point lead - with four second-half goals as the former European champions raced onto 61 points from 31 games to overhaul overnight leaders Bordeaux, who won 2-0 at Auxerre on Saturday with goals from Brazilians Fernando and Geraldo Wendel.

Lyon, aiming for an eighth straight title, were set to go one point clear once again if they beat Monaco.

But, true to their recent inconsistent form, they had to thank Frederic Piquionne for saving them with an acrobatic late equaliser after Juan Pablo Pino looked to have hit a second-half winner for Monaco.

With six games remaining, Marseille are now in the box seat as they home in on a first title in 17 years.

The southerners, seeking a first league title in 17 years, took things easy in the opening period against a Grenoble side who are still not safe from the drop before Nigerian defender Taye Taiwo grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck for the hosts.

Taiwo fired in from the penalty spot after 52 minutes after Mathieu Valbuena was brought down in the box to sooth increasingly restless fans and for good measure he then hit the third on 64 minutes after Vitorino Hilton had first fired home number two, deflecting a Valbuena effort.

Hatem Ben Arfa and Lorik Cana then combined to set up Brazilian Brandao, who fired home a fizzing effort before Laurent Courtois notched a consolation in stoppage time.

Monaco took the lead on 33 minutes through Croatian forward Jerko Leko, astutely fed by Korean Park Chu Young, who has made a solid impression since arriving at Monaco in the summer from FC Seoul.

Twenty minutes after the restart Cris bagged the equaliser following a cross by Juninho only for Pino to beat the offside trap and skip round Hugo Lloris in the Lyon goal before firing home from an acute angle.

Neither Lille nor Paris Saint Germain were able to take advantage of Lyon's hiccup as they parted 0-0 Sunday to take their points tally to 56, level with Toulouse, who thanked Andre-Pierre Gignac's 19th goal of the campaign for a win over struggling Nantes.

PSG have not won at Lille in 12 years and Sunday's stalemate means they have not even scored in the fixture in six attempts.

"It's a good point earned as they put us under a lot of pressure in the first half," said PSG coach Paul Le Guen. "It keeps us in touch," he added.

Recent losses to Marseille and Toulouse have kept the Parisians dreaming more of a Europa League place than the Champions League, which also looks beyond a Lille side whose top six placing is no fluke as they have the best home record in France.

Date created : 2009-04-12