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French Ligue 1

Stade de Moustir 27th April 2013 - Kick off 16:00 Ref: Benoit Millot

Lorient Lorient vs Marseille Marseille

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Marseille 1

M Valbuena (25)

Marseille keep title race alive

Last Updated: 27/04/13 7:47pm

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Mathieu Valbuena netted the game's only goal

Mathieu Valbuena netted the game's only goal

Marseille kept the Ligue 1 title race just about alive as Mathieu Valbuena's first-half goal earned them victory at Lorient.

The France midfielder followed up to score after Andre Ayew's effort had been saved to close the gap on leaders Paris St Germain to six points.

The capital club can re-establish a nine-point advantage if they win their game in hand at Evian on Sunday, though, with just 12 left to play for after that.

It was a fourth 1-0 win in five games for Marseille, who are getting into a habit of grinding out results.

The match ended on a sour note, though, with Lorient goalkeeper Fabien Audard and Ayew both sent off for clashing after the final whistle.

Valbuena looked lively from the off, bringing an excellent save out of Audard with a curling free-kick after seven minutes.

At the other end a neat move involving Maxime Barthelme, Jeremie Aliadiere and Maxime Baca created a shooting chance for Baca, but Steve Mandanda pushed it away.

Both keepers were being kept busy, with Audard at full stretch to keep out an Andre-Pierre Gignac shot from the edge of the area.

But Valbuena beat him in the 26th minute, scoring into an empty net after Audard had punched clear Ayew's shot from a Gignac cross.

Lorient had a chance to level before the break, but Mandanda pulled off a reflex save to stop Rod Fanni diverting Aliadiere's cross into his own net.

Mandanda saved Marseille again in the 72nd minute, producing a brilliant stop to keep out Barthelme's volley which looked headed for the top corner.

The keeper was saved by a post a minute later after Yann Jouffre freed Barthelme with a fine pass.

And, fittingly, Mandanda had the last word when he saved from Mathias Autret to ensured the visitors kept their slim title hopes alive.

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Matches

Table

French Ligue 1

French Ligue 1
Pos Team P Pts
1 Lyon 34 68
2 Paris St Germain 33 68
3 Monaco 34 62
4 St Etienne 34 60
5 Marseille 34 57
6 Bordeaux 34 55
7 Montpellier 34 52
8 Lille 34 50
9 Rennes 34 49
10 Nantes 34 44
11 Guingamp 34 43
12 Nice 34 41
13 Bastia 34 40
14 Toulouse 34 39
15 Caen 34 38
16 Lorient 34 38
17 Reims 34 38
18 Evian Thonon Gaillar 34 37
19 Metz 33 30
20 RC Lens 34 26