Marseille takes French League Cup
Marseille ended its 17-year title drought Saturday by beating Bordeaux 3-1 in the French League Cup final in Saint-Denis, France.
After a scoreless first half, Marseille went ahead when Souleymane Diawara rushed inside the area to outjump Bordeaux captain Alou Diarra and head home a corner in the 61st minute.
Marseille added a second goal six minutes later when Hatem Ben Arfa attracted two defenders on the right wing and set up an unmarked Mathieu Valbuena, who slammed the ball into the top corner.
Marseille put the result beyond doubt in the 77th with an own goal from defender Mathieu Chalme, who turned a free kick from Valbuena into his own net.
Ludovic Sane powered a header under the crossbar to notch a consolation goal for defending champion Bordeaux in the 84th.
It was Marseille's first League Cup title and its first trophy since it won the Champions League in 1993.
Earlier Saturday, Lyon beat last-place Grenoble 2-0 in the French league to make up ground in the chase for a European spot.
Bafetimbi Gomis cut the ball back for Brazilian winger Michel Bastos to score the opener in the 48th minute. Argentine forward Cesar Delgado sealed the win in the 89th, skipping past the Grenoble defence to beat goalkeeper Brice Maubleu.
Grenoble defender Bostjan Cesar was red-carded in the 76th for dissent.
Lyon moved into fourth place with 54 points from 30 games. Bordeaux leads the league with 56 points and has two games in hand. Montpellier is in second place, level on points with Bordeaux, followed by Auxerre with 55 points.
Grenoble remained in last place with 15 points.
In a physical game at the Stade de France, both Marseille and Bordeaux tried to mark their territory with a number of fierce challenges in the first 15 minutes.
Sane earned a yellow card in the 11th for planting his studs into Gonzalez's right ankle, and the Marseille playmaker was again fouled in the 15th when Diarra tackled him from behind to also earn a booking.
Marseille responded in kind, and Brazilian forward Brandao was given a yellow card three minutes later for a late challenge on Chalme.
Although Marseille seemed to prevail in that midfield battle, Bordeaux created the first chance of the match in the 22nd. Benoit Tremoulinas connected with France playmaker Yoann Gourcuff, who cut inside to fire a low shot that was stopped by goalkeeper Steve Mandanda.
Marseille stepped up the pressure in the following minutes, forcing Bordeaux goalkeeper Ulrich Rame to palm away a bouncing low drive by Ben Arfa from 25 metres before Brandao curled a low shot inches wide of the far post from inside the area.
In a more lively second half, Gourcuff nearly levelled for Bordeaux in the 64th with a bouncing shot from 25 metres, but Mandanda made the save.
When Marseille added a second goal, Bordeaux coach Laurent Blanc understood the game was over and replaced Marouane Chamakh, Gourcuff and Fernando.
On Sunday in the French league, it's: Le Mans vs. Rennes, Lorient vs. Saint-Etienne, Nancy vs. Lens, Paris Saint-Germain vs. Boulogne, Toulouse vs. Nice, and Lille vs. Montpellier.
On Monday, Monaco hosts Auxerre.