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Marseille keep the heat on leaders Lille

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-01-17

Marseille strikers Andre-Pierre Gignac and Brandao both ended a dry run in the French league this season as defending champions Marseille beat Bordeaux 2-1 to remain three points clear of leaders Lille.

AP - Andre-Pierre Gignac ended his goal drought and Brandao scored for the first time in the French league this season as defending champion Marseille beat Bordeaux 2-1 at home on Sunday.

Gignac had previously not scored in eight straight league games, failing to justify his €16.5 million transfer fee since joining from Toulouse in the offseason. Brandao had not scored a league goal since April 4, a run of 21 games for the Brazilian striker. Bordeaux pulled a late goal back when striker Anthony Modeste scored a penalty.

Andre-Pierre Gignac's first goal against Bordeaux (2-1)

MARSEILLE-BORDEAUX 2-1 Ligue 1 20ème journée
envoyé par 3Dreplays. - Plus de vidéos de sport professionnel et amateur.

Leader Lille won 2-0 at Nice on Saturday to stay one point clear of Paris Saint-Germain, Rennes and Lyon, which all also won Saturday. Marseille is three points behind Lille. "It was a bit harder in the second half, even though we had a chance to score a third goal,'' Deschamps said. ``But it's nice to have got a taste for winning again, as it had been a little while. We're on the right track now.'' Marseille had not won in five previous league games and was under pressure after its title rivals all won.

"It wasn't an easy game against a very physical opponent,'' Deschamps said. ``We were lucky enough to get those two goals in the first half.'' Although Bordeaux enjoyed some early possession, coach Jean Tigana's team almost fell behind when defender Benoit Tremoulinas' poor clearance nearly ended up in his own net in the ninth minute, only for goalkeeper Cedric Carrasso to make a reflex save.

FOOTBALL: LIGUE 1 STANDINGS

Marseille took the lead when Nigeria defender Taye Taiwo crossed ball from the left, and Gignac lost his marker before coolly volleying the ball through Carrasso's legs in the 23rd minute. Gignac's poor start to the season had left many Marseille fans wondering whether coach Didier Deschamps had made a big mistake in signing him. Prior to Sunday, he had managed only one league goal.

"He will score a lot of goals for us and make the fans dream,'' Marseille midfielder Edouard Cisse said. Poor communication in Bordeaux's defense led to the second goal in first-half injury time.

Souleymane Diawara's long clearance landed in the penalty area, and center half Mickael Ciani and Carrasso both left it for each other, allowing winger Mathieu Valbuena to nip in and square the ball for Brandao to slam it into the net. "I think it was a bit harsh for us to be 2-0 down at halftime,'' Tigana said. "Taiwo controlled the ball a bit with his hand (for the first goal) and the second goal was a bit of a joke.''

Lille has 35 points, Paris Saint-Germain, Rennes and Lyon have 34, Marseille has 32. Toulouse is sixth with 30. But Lille has played only 19 games, one less than its rivals, and can move four points clear if it wins its game in hand at home to Nancy on Wednesday.

Bordeaux's defeat leaves it in 10th place with 27 points. Valbuena should have put Marseille 3-0 up after an hour, when midfielder Lucho Gonzalez tackled Jaroslav Plasil and then provided Valbuena with a perfect pass, but he missed the target from close range.

With Marseille in control, Bordeaux was handed an unexpected lifeline in the 74th when Diawara knocked Moussa Maazou over in the penalty area. Modeste confidently converted the spot kick for his seventh league goal of the season

Date created : 2011-01-17

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