Landmark win for Nice
Last Updated: 07/03/14 10:27pm
Florian Thauvin of Marseille shoots for goal
Nice marked their 2,000th game in the French top flight with an impressive 1-0 win on the road at Mediterranean rivals Marseille.
Valentin Eysseric bagged the only goal at Stade Velodrome to move Nice to 11th in the Ligue 1 standings, while defeat for Marseille deals a further blow to their hopes of securing Champions League football next season.
OM could see the gap to third-placed Lille increase to nine points by the end of the weekend, surely too big a divide to bridge over the final 10 games of the season.
The match was a special one for the visitors as they marked a significant milestone in the history of the club, which was one of the founder members of what would become Ligue 1 back in 1932 and has spent a total of 55 seasons in the top flight.
But celebrations were the furthest thing from the visiting players' minds in the opening exchanges as Marseille went on the offensive, with Florian Thauvin and Dimitri Payet both going close to the opener inside 10 minutes.
The one-way traffic continued and with 25 minutes gone Thauvin went close again, controlling a cross on his chest before hitting a volley on the run that flew inches wide with David Ospina beaten.
Thauvin and Payet looked the men most likely to break the deadlock and they combined well with four minutes of the first period remaining, Payet finishing the move with a curling effort that Ospina punched away.
And Ospina was again in action early in the second half, getting down well to block Saber Khelifa's first-time drive.
Having soaked up the pressure Nice hit the hosts with a sucker punch with 66 minutes on the clock, Eysseric winning a free-kick on the edge of the area and picking himself up to dispatch a crisp finish over the wall and beyond the reach of Steve Mandanda, who until that moment had had little to do.
Marseille searched for a leveller over the final quarter of the match but Mathieu Valbuena saw a powerful strike bravely headed away by Mathieu Bodmer, while Nicolas N'Koulou's header from Thauvin's 87th-minute corner drew yet more good work from Ospina.
French Ligue 1
|2||Paris St Germain||18||37|
|16||Evian Thonon Gaillar||17||19|