Ligue 1: Marseille maintain unbeaten start to move top

August 23, 2008

PARIS, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Olympique Marseille went top of Ligue 1 after goals from Karim Ziani and Bakary Kone secured a 2-1 home win over Sochaux on Saturday.

Midfielder Ziani netted with an angled drive six minutes before half-time and Ivory Coast striker Kone made it 2-0 with a shot on the turn from a Mamadou Niang cross.

Mevlut Erding reduced the arrears after 73 minutes before France goalkeeper Steve Mandanda pulled off a couple of brilliant late saves to deny Sochaux.

'He (Mandanda) is the one who made the difference,' Sochaux coach Francis Gilot told Orange Foot television.

Erding outpaced the defence five minutes from time but Mandanda produced an excellent stop. The keeper also did well in injury time to block another effort from the same player.

Marseille, chasing their first domestic title since 1992, have 10 points from four matches and lead Le Mans, Nice and Grenoble by one point.


Earlier, Le Mans swept to a 4-1 win at promoted Nantes who parted company with coach Michel Der Zakarian earlier this week.

The home team went ahead after 19 minutes when midfielder Guirane N'Daw headed in a David De Freitas corner.

But Thorstein Helstad levelled for Le Mans three minutes later and Modibo Maiga added a second with a 25-metre drive on the stroke of half-time.

Midfielder Mathieu Coutadeur made it 3-1 before Ivory Coast's Gervinho completed the rout in stoppage time.

Nice beat Valenciennes 2-0 thanks to second-half goals by Habib Bamogo and Loic Remy while an 18th-minute strike by Daniel Moreira was enough for promoted Grenoble to see off Monaco 1-0.

Paris St Germain climbed to sixth after a first-half goal by striker Guillaume Hoarau earned a 1-0 win at Caen.

Seven-times champions Olympique Lyon, fifth on seven points, travel to arch-rivals St Etienne on Sunday while last season's runners-up Girondins Bordeaux visit Lille.