LIGUE 1 REVIEW

Ligue 1: Brandao strikes as Marseille sink Lille

August 16, 2009
By Reuters

Brandao's first-half header allowed Marseille to down 10-man Lille and earn their second successive win of the fledgling Ligue 1 campaign.

The striker nodded home Hatem Ben Arfa's corner in the 11th minute for the only goal of a match OM bossed, particularly after Lille right-back Mathieu Debuchy's sending-off midway through the second half.

While OM now have six points from a possible six - one of three teams to own such a record, along with Nancy and reigning champions Bordeaux - Lille remain without a point after two matches.

With an inquiry into a fatal accident at Marseille's Stade Velodrome during the summer still ongoing, the Mediterranean side's first 'home' match of the season was played at Montpellier's Stade de la Mosson.

OM supporters were still out in force and one of their favourite sons, the burly Brandao, was a menace from the first whistle.

He almost opened the scoring in the fourth minute when he latched onto Fabrice Abriel's cross but flashed his left-foot volley just wide.

The Brazilian then forced a scrambled save out of Ludovic Butelle but the Lille goalkeeper got it all wrong for the goal.

He tried to come out and collect Ben Arfa's inswinging corner but Brandao nipped in front of him and a number of other Lille players to nod home from seven yards.

Benoit Cheyrou powered a volley straight at Butelle just after the half-hour mark and when the half-time whistle went, Les Dogues still had not come anywhere near to testing OM custodian Steve Mandanda.

Yohan Cabaye should have done so early in the second half but after running onto Florent Balmont's inch-perfect pass, the midfielder screwed his shot wide.

Ludovic Obraniak then smashed an effort wide but any hope they had of pulling level was virtually extinguished when Debuchy was sent off for pulling back Mamadou Niang when the forward was clean through. Debuchy's first yellow card also came after a foul on Niang.

Taye Taiwo and substitute Baky Kone could have put the game to bed for OM but Lille were still in it heading into the last 10 minutes.

And Mandanda was finally called into action in the 84th minute, pulling off a superb save to deny Eden Hazard.

Two goals in quick succession from Gregory Thil allowed promoted Boulogne-sur-Mer to bounce back from a dismal Ligue 1 debut with a 2-1 home win over Grenoble.

Forward Thil opened the scoring on 33 minutes and doubled the advantage five minutes later for the club from the northern fishing port, who lost 3-0 at Stade Rennes in their first match in the top flight last weekend.

Grenoble, who were promoted last season, pulled one back through former Serbia striker Danijel Ljuboja two minutes into the second half.

Rennes failed to notch a second win, managing only a 1-1 draw at Nice in a match played in stifling heat on the French Riviera. The Brittany side finished with 10 men after Japan midfielder Junichi Inamoto was sent off for a second booking on 77 minutes.