PARIS - Olympique Marseille overtook Olympique Lyon at the top of Ligue 1 on Sunday after they beat Grenoble 4-1 and the seven-times champions only drew 2-2 at home to mid-table Monaco. Lyon had topped the table after every round of matches since mid-September. They are now a point behind Marseille, who have 61, with seven games remaining. Girondins Bordeaux, who beat AJ Auxerre 2-0 on Saturday, are third on 59. The first goal that led to Lyon's downfall was scored in the 34th minute by Croatian midfielder Jerko Leko, who was perfectly set up by a backpass from South Korean Park Chu-young after a swift counter-attack. Lyon's France striker Karim Benzema hit the woodwork five minutes later and the champions had another chance on the hour when Monaco keeper Stephane Ruffier blocked Jean Makoun's header. Five minutes later, Lyon got back into the game when Cris headed home a Juninho long-range free-kick but just a minute later Colombian striker Juan Pablo Pino had put Monaco back in front. Lyon levelled nine minutes from time when Frederic Piquionne's scissor kick went in after a scramble in the penalty area. They pushed hard to snatch a victory but Monaco's defence held tight. TAIWO DOUBLE A few hours earlier, in a packed Stade Velodrome, Marseille had to wait until the 52nd minute for their opener which came when Nigerian defender Taye Taiwo converted a penalty after Laurent Battles brought down Mathieu Valbuena. Brazilian central defender Hilton made it two seven minutes later, heading home a Valbuena corner. Taiwo sealed Marseille's victory with his second, blasting in a 25-metre free-kick in the 65th, and Brazilian striker Brandao added another one minute from time. Laurent Courtois scored Grenoble's consolation goal four minutes into added time. "Our first half was a disaster but after the break we showed our true nature and played a faster and more open game," Marseille coach Eric Gerets told reporters. "The players also proved they were determined to succeed and to score four goals was a good thing because it could be important at the end of the season but we have to stay cautious because all the games will be difficult from now on." Toulouse, Lille and Paris St Germain are still in contention three points behind Bordeaux in fourth to sixth place respectively. Toulouse defeated Nantes 1-0 on Saturday courtesy of Ligue 1 top scorer Andre-Pierre Gignac's 19th goal of the season, while Lille and PSG shared the points in a 0-0 draw on Sunday.
12 April 2009
Get FourFourTwo interviews, features and fun in your inbox every week. For free!
Thank you for registering for our Newsletter
We will send regular updates on the ongoing FourFourTwo updates to the email address you have supplied.