Marseille seizes 2nd place in French league
Marseille moved into second place in the French league by beating Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 on Sunday with goals from Boudewijn Zenden, Bakari Kone and Lorik Cana.
The win edged Marseille closer to defending champion Lyon, which lost to Auxerre 2-0 for its first home defeat in the league this season and fourth straight loss in all competitions.
Lyon still leads the league with 53 points, but both Marseille and PSG have 52.
"The league is getting exciting," Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda told the club's website. "It's undecided. We're catching up. Lyon is within a point."
Brandao set up Zenden with a backheel pass and the Dutch winger put Marseille ahead with a low diagonal shot in the 24th minute. PSG tied the game in the 43rd minute, with Peguy Luyindula slipping a through ball to Ludovic Giuly, who was played onside by Marseille defender Tyrone Mears and placed the ball out of Mandanda's reach.
Zoumana Camara's sending off in the 54th minute was the turning point of the match. The PSG defender tripped Zenden on the edge of the box.
On the subsequent free kick, Kone gave the lead back to Marseille as PSG goalkeeper Mickael Landreau could only palm Zenden's shot onto the Ivory Coast forward's leg and into the net.
Cana made it 3-1 in the 61st minute, chesting down a cross from Kone to score with a low drive that deflected off the foot of a PSG defender.
"The red card made the difference," PSG midfielder Claude Makelele told Canal Plus television. "Of course it's more complicated to play with 10 men."
Lyon failed to bounce back against Auxerre after being eliminated from the French Cup and the Champions League, on either side of a domestic league defeat.
"We were not aggressive enough at the start," Lyon coach Claude Puel said. "We never managed to break through the Auxerre defence."
Poland forward Ireneusz Jelen beat the offside trap to shoot past Lyon goalkeeper Hugo Lloris in the 41st and Denmark playmaker Thomas Kahlenberg chipped Lloris in injury time from 25 yards to seal the win.
Lloris fouled Kevin Lejeune inside the area in the 90th but stopped the ensuing penalty kick from Cedric Hengbart.
"We beat ourselves tonight because Auxerre didn't show much, except on a few counterattacks in the second half," Lloris said. "Now we'll have to put ourselves into question and move on."
Grenoble 1, Saint-Etienne 0
In Grenoble, Nassim Akrour gave the host team a 1-0 victory over Saint-Etienne with a semi-volley in injury time.
Grenoble coach Mecha Bazdarevic was sent off in the 66th minute for contesting a decision from the referee, who disallowed a goal from Laurent Batlles for an offside by Elliot Grandin, who made the pass.
Saint-Etienne defender Efstathios Tavlaridis was also red-carded in the 81st minute for a foul on Akrour.
Grenoble remained in ninth place with 35 points while Saint-Etienne fell into the relegation zone with 29 points.
Fourth-place Bordeaux edged Nice 2-1 Saturday to narrow the gap with Lyon to three points and keep alive its title hopes.
Also Saturday, it was: Monaco 3, Toulouse 2; Le Mans 2, Rennes 2; Lille 1, Caen 0; Nantes 1, Lorient 1; Sochaux 2, Nancy 1; and Valenciennes 3, Le Havre 2.