Ligue 1: PSG thrash arch-rivals Marseille

October 26, 2008

PARIS, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Olympique Marseille missed the chance to capture the lead in Ligue 1 when they lost 4-2 at home to arch-rivals Paris St Germain in a lively Ligue 1 game on Sunday.

The former European champions, who would have gone top with a win, stay second on 19 points from 10 games, two points behind seven-times champions Olympique Lyon, who were held to a 0-0 draw at Auxerre on Saturday.

A thrilling match was heading towards a 2-2 draw when midfielder Jerome Rothen put the visitors in front with a free kick against the run of play 14 minutes from time.

Forward Guillaume Hoarau wrapped it up with his second goal of the night six minutes later, sending PSG up to sixth in the 20-strong league, four points off the pace.

"Winning here is a great achievement," PSG midfielder Claude Makelele said after the Paris club recorded their first league win in Marseille in five years and scored four goals there for the first time.

"If we keep on playing like that, we'll be hard to beat," the former France and Chelsea player added.

Clashes between the two sides are often tense affairs but this one was exciting with spectacular moves from both teams.

Marseille, who were desperate to bounce back four days after a 2-0 defeat at PSV Eindhoven left them in danger of making an early Champions League exit, instead slumped to their first league defeat this season.

PSG opened the scoring with a headed goal by Hoarau from a corner on 11 minutes but Marseille levelled 10 minutes later when Senegal striker Mamadou Niang exploited a defensive blunder to head home from close range.

Playmaker Mathieu Valbuena put Marseille in the lead with a header just before halftime but PSG responded when forward Peguy Luyindula flicked the ball past Marseille keeper Steve Mandanda from inside the area on 53 minutes.

PSG then resisted under sustained pressure until two late goals presented them with a sweet victory.

"It's tough because we really wanted to make amends after what happened in Eindhoven and this is the kind of match you really hate to lose but there you go," sighed Valbuena.