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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 Paris St Germain 38 83
2 Lyon 38 75
3 Monaco 38 71
4 Marseille 38 69
5 St Etienne 38 69
6 Bordeaux 38 63
7 Montpellier 38 56
8 Lille 38 56
9 Rennes 38 50
10 Guingamp 38 49
11 Nice 38 48
12 Bastia 38 47
13 Caen 38 46
14 Nantes 38 45
15 Reims 38 44
16 Lorient 38 43
17 Toulouse 38 42
18 Evian Thonon Gaillar 38 37
19 Metz 38 30
20 RC Lens 38 29