Marseille claim back top spot from Lyon

August 27, 2006

PARIS, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Ambitious Olympique Marseille claimed back the Ligue 1 top spot from Olympique Lyon on Sunday when they snatched a 2-0 victory over Le Mans at Stade Velodrome.

Marseille took over on goal difference from, Lyon who demolished Nice 4-1 away on Saturday thanks to a highly impressive second-half display.

Both sides are level on 10 points with three victories and a draw from four outings.

Striker Habib Bamago netted a fine cross from Samir Nasri 20 minutes from time before Mamadou Niang scored from the penalty spot in the 78th minute to seal the issue.

Marseille extended their unbeaten run to four matches and confirmed themselves as Lyon's main rivals for the title.

'We knew that Le Mans would be a tough side to beat. We had to be patient and wait for the second half to break the lock,' Marseille coach Albert Emon said. 'We are confident and we feel strong at the moment.

'It's good to see how the guys look happy to play together. It really makes me pleased. Now the standings are going to remain the same for the next two weeks. It will give us some time to relish and to rest.'

Troubled Monaco tamed promoted Sedan 2-1 to clinch their first league success of the season.

Sierra Leone striker Mohamed Kallon and midfielder Francois Modesto put the team of the principality back on winning tracks with a goal apiece before the interval.

Kallon, set up by teenager Serge Gakpe, opened the scoring from close-range just after the half-hour and Modesto volleyed home a minute from the break.

The visitors pulled one back via Mansour Boutabout who has his shot deflected by Bolivar into his own net in the 82nd.

The victory came as a huge relief for Monaco who had lost two and drawn one of their first three outings.

In the last match of the day, St Etienne continued their good form as they tamed struggling Racing Lens 3-2 for their third consecutive success.

Les Verts moved up to fifth in the table level with promoted Nancy and Lille, who crushed Girondins Bordeaux 3-0 on Saturday.