Marseille end skid, as Lyon also close gap
PARIS (AFP) –
Brothers Andre and Jordan Ayew were on target as Marseille snapped a three-match winless streak on Sunday with a 2-0 win at Ajaccio to draw level on points with Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain, while Lyon also closed the gap at the top beating Bastia 5-2.
Marseille move to 22 points from 10 matches, and although their inferior goal difference sees them still trail PSG, Elie Baup’s side have a game in hand on their arch-rivals.
Lyon are third on 21 points having also played 10 games, but Toulouse could leapfrog all three clubs if they beat Bordeaux by a two-goal margin in Sunday’s late kick-off.
PSG saw their unbeaten start to the domestic campaign come to a halt on Saturday, as they were beaten 2-1 at home by Saint-Etienne in a game that also saw Zlatan Ibrahimovic dismissed for a dangerous challenge on goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier.
Marseille were far from their best against an Ajaccio outfit that had been unbeaten in Corsica since last December, but the result will undoubtedly have provided them with some comfort after taking just one point from a possible nine.
Andre Ayew accounted for Marseille’s first league goal since October 7, as he nodded Charles Kabore’s looping header beyond Guillermo Ochoa on 55 minutes after the hosts failed to clear their lines.
Jordan Ayew, who replaced the ineffective Loic Remy midway through the second half, then secured the points two minutes from time when he slotted low into the corner following Mathieu Valbuena’s cutback.
Lyon meanwhile were the victors in a seven-goal thriller at a saturated Stade Gerland.
Goals from Maxime Gonalons and Alexandre Lacazette gave the home side a two-goal advantage after 26 minutes, but Bastia were back on level terms shortly after.
Wahbi Khazri’s precise finish pulled Frederic Hantz’s newly promoted side to within one before Lyon suffered a double blow as Dejan Lovren was dismissed for hauling down Florian Thauvin in the box with the evergreen Jerome Rothen converting the resulting penalty.
Bastia then found themselves reduced to 10 men on 55 minutes as Fethi Harek conceded a penalty and collected a second yellow card in the process for a foul on Lacazette.
Lisandro Lopez slotted home from the spot to put back Lyon back in front before stoppage-time strikes from Jimmy Briand and Steed Malbranque, the latter another penalty, gave the scoreline a somewhat flattering look.