February 16, 2013
Marseille 1-0 Valenciennes
Rod Fanni's 94th-minute goal kept Marseille's Ligue 1 title challenge alive with a hard-earned victory over Valenciennes at the Stade Velodrome.
Starting the weekend eight points adrift of leaders Paris St Germain, Marseille knew they could not afford another slip after a disappointing run of form since the winter break.
And just when it seemed they would be frustrated again, Fanni beat his man to fire a low shot into the goal and relieve the pressure.
The win sends Marseille into second place, at least until Lyon face a tricky trip to Bordeaux tomorrow.
The match was one-way traffic virtually throughout as OM piled forward in search of goals.
Rudy Mater had to clear off the VA line in the 19th minute after Andre Pierre-Gignac's shot lobbed Nicolas Penneteau, and moments later Gignac sent the ball narrowly wide at the near post after racing to meet Andre Ayew's cross.
Loris Nery was the next Valenciennes defender called upon to hack the ball away from the line when Ayew directed Mathieu Valbuena's free-kick goalwards just after the half-hour mark.
It was a similar routine just before the break when Ayew headed Valbuena's free-kick wide.
The second half was slow to get going and when it did it was Valenciennes on the attack first, but Steve Mandanda got a good strong first to Gael Danic's free-kick to clear the danger.
Marseille thought they had scored in the 74th minute when Fanni raced clear in the area but his driven shot was stopped right on the line by Carlos Sanchez and the frustration grew.
When Fanni volleyed wide from Valbuena's free-kick in the 87th minute it seemed it would not be Marseille's day but, deep into stoppage time, Jeremy Morkel crossed and Fanni beat Danic before slotting home.
|Rod Fanni (90')|
|30 Steve Mandanda||1 Nicolas Penneteau|
|4 Lucas Michel Mendes||20 Lindsay Rose|
|3 Nicolas N'Koulou||5 Brou Angoua|
|15 Jérémy Morel||17 Loris Nery|
|24 Rod Fanni||25 Rudy Mater|
|28 Mathieu Valbuena||2 David Ducourtioux|
|6 Joey Barton||12 Rémi Gomis|
|20 Alaixys Romao||6 Carlos Sanchez|
|9 Andre-Pierre Gignac||19 Anthony Le Tallec|
|10 Andre Ayew||27 Maor Melikson|
|14 Foued Kadir||33 Opa Nguette|
|18 Morgan Amalfitano||Grégory Pujol 28|
|21 Souleymane Diawara||José Saez 23|
|27 Modou Sougou||Gaël Danic 8|
|16 Brice Samba||Gaetan Bong 24|
|13 Rafidine Abdullah||Younousse Sankhare 3|
|33 Laurent Abergel||Jean-Louis Leca 16|
|35 Marcellin Junior Anani||Vincent Aboubakar 9|
|Morgan Amalfitano for Foued Kadir (65)||Gaetan Bong for Rudy Mater (59)|
|Modou Sougou for Joey Barton (84)||Gaël Danic for Opa Nguette (62)|
|Grégory Pujol for Anthony Le Tallec (84)|
|Joey Barton (63)||Rémi Gomis (43)|
|Morgan Amalfitano (68)|
|· Squads: Marseille | Valenciennes|