Marseille cruise to victory
Last Updated: 08/02/14 8:04pm
Dimitri Payet scored twice for Marseille
Dimitri Payet hit a first-half brace as Marseille closed the gap on fourth place in Ligue 1 with a comfortable 3-0 win against Bastia.
The former Lille winger needed little more than 10 minutes to open his account before adding his seventh goal of the season with just 25 minutes played.
Andre-Pierre Gignac added a third in the second-half to wrap up all three points which stretched the hosts' recent unbeaten run to three and moved them within two points of Lille who occupy the final European spot.
Bastia's woeful record away from the isle of Corsica continued though as Frederic Hantz's side were left still looking for a first victory on the road this season despite sitting comfortably just below mid-table.
OM looked to stamp their authority on the match from the word go and, with Mathieu Valbuena, Florian Thauvin and Payet all looking in the mood, it was not long before they had the lead.
In a well-worked move Payet played a one-two with Gignac and, after the latter chipped him in, Marseille's number 17 volleyed beyond Mickael Landreau with the aid of a slight deflection.
As frustrations threatened to spill over on the pitch, N'dri Romaric and Alaixys Romao went into the book following a melee but soon after Bastia keeper Landreau was picking the ball out of the net for the second time after being soundly beaten.
Payet was allowed time and space to carry the ball forward after being picked out by Benjamin Mendy, and that proved pivotal as the 26-year-old bent an unstoppable curling effort from 20 yards into the top corner to leave former team-mate Landreau clutching at air.
The hosts continued to press and it was almost three before the break after Gignac turned the Bastia defence inside out, but the France international saw his goalbound effort turned around the post by the busy Landreau.
The Corsicans went close to making a perfect start to the second-half as Wahbi Khazri pounced six yards out after Marseille failed to clear their lines but the Tunisian was unfortunate to see his effort come back off Steve Mandanda's post.
There was little else for the travelling supporters to shout about though as Marseille began to turn the screw again with Gignac going close on two separate occasions before adding a third for his team just 10 minutes after the restart.
Gianelli Imbula was unfortunate to see a sublime effort come back off the crossbar but Gignac was alert for the rebound and got there ahead of Jean-Louis Leca to score from close range for his 11th goal of the season.
French Ligue 1
|2||Paris St Germain||18||37|
|16||Evian Thonon Gaillar||17||19|