LIGUE 1 REVIEW

Ligue 1: Niang spot on as Marseille beat Rennes

December 6, 2008
By Reuters

An own goal and a penalty gave Olympique Marseille a 2-1 win over Nice to reclaim second place in Ligue 1 from Stade Rennes on Saturday.

On 31 points from 17 games, Marseille are three points adrift of champions Olympique Lyon who were playing at struggling Nantes later on Saturday.

Rennes have 30 points after drawing 1-1 at mid-table Caen. Benjamin Nivet opened the scoring for the Normandy side just before halftime. Moussa Sow levelled for the Brittany club in the 76th minute.

Girondins Bordeaux moved up to fourth on 29 points thanks to a 2-1 win over bottom club Valenciennes on Friday. The game was brought forward because Bordeaux visit AS Roma on Tuesday with a berth in last 16 of the Champions League at stake.

Playing on a new pitch, Marseille went ahead after 14 minutes courtesy of Nice midfielder Olivier Echouafni who deflected a corner into his own goal.

They made it two just before halftime when Cyril Rool brought down Mathieu Valbuena in the box and Mamadou Niang scored from the spot.

Habib Bamogo silenced the Stade Velodrome three minutes after the restart firing into the far corner and Nice narrowly missed out on a draw when Chaouki Ben Saasa hit the crossbar with a 20-metre shot two minutes into injury time.

Before the game, Marseille chairman Pape Diouf called on the club's supporters not to demonstrate against the jail sentence handed down to one of them by a Spanish judge when Atletico Madrid visit Marseille on Tuesday in the Champions League.

Santos Mirasierra was sentenced to three and a half years for assaulting police officers when the teams met in Madrid earlier in the season.

"The future of the club is at stake. We mustn't prove right the people who think Marseille supporters are animals. We'll do all we can to get Santos out of jail," Diouf said.