Marseille loses 1-0 to Bordeaux in French league
PARIS (AP) — Marseille’s hopes of winning a record-equaling 10th league title took a serious blow with a 1-0 loss at Bordeaux on Sunday that left the club five points behind the leaders.
The loss marked the ninth defeat for Marseille this season and the second successive one after Marcelo Bielsa’s side lost at home to bitter rival Paris Saint-Gemain last weekend.
PSG, which has one match in hand, defeated Bastia 4-0 to win the League Cup on Saturday and leads second-place Lyon by one point.
Marseille will rue its missed chances after dominating large spells of the game and hitting the post twice before midfielder Cedric Yambere made sure Bordeaux kept its 38-year unbeaten home record against Marseille intact.
In a lively first half, Marseille had several opportunities to break the deadlock as Dimitri Payet and Romain Alessandrini combined well to open up the hosts’ defense.
Alessandrini hit the post twice then had a penalty claim turned down after Nicolas Pallois barged into him in the area just before the interval.
Marseille president Vincent Labrune felt his side should have been awarded another penalty after Yambere appeared to block a header with his hand and said his team was given an unfair treatment.
“The standings after 32 matches do not reflect the reality of our performances,” he said. “It’s more than disappointing, it’s sickening beyond belief.”
Marseille applied a relentless pressure in the second half and monopolized the ball but was caught against the run of the play when Yambere connected with Mariano’s cross in the box and fired home in the 61st minute.
Bielsa sent on Michy Batshuay in a bid to overturn the result with 20 minutes remaining but the Belgium international could not find a cutting edge.
Earlier, fullback Franck Tabanou scored the winner as Saint-Etienne remained in contention for a European place with a 1-0 win against Nantes.
Fifth-place Saint-Etienne recovered from its 4-1 thrashing by Paris Saint-Germain in the semifinals of the French Cup midweek to move within one point of Marseille.
Tabanou broke the deadlock in the 18th minute with a superb free kick into the top corner from the left edge of the area. He was replaced shortly afterward following a clash with teammate Loic Perrin and both teams struggled to create chances in a very tight game.
“We suffered a lot although the first 20 minutes suggested that we were full of energy,” said Saint-Etienne coach Christophe Galtier. “But it was our 48th game this season, it’s a lot. It was not a great match, but an important win.”
Also, Ola Toivonen scored the winner 10 minutes from time with a volley at the near post to give Reims a 1-0 win over Guingamp that guarantees the Brittany side topflight football next season.
Toulouse took crucial points in the fight against relegation with a 1-0 win over Montpellier, courtesy of Oscar Trejo’s first goal in two months after an assist from Wissam Ben Yedder. Toulouse is level on points with 17th-place Reims, nine points above last-but-one Metz. Montpellier remains seventh.
Last-place Lens created the best chances but lacked the cutting edge as it was held to a goalless draw by Lorient.