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11/23/2013
 

 Last season's runners-up Marseille, picked up their second straight Ligue 1 victory after a slump of seven matches without winning as they defeated Ajaccio 3-1 on Friday in Corsica.


Dimitri Payet gave Elie Baup's men the ideal start with a 27th minute opener, only for Grenddy Perozo to level terms four minutes later. Former France international Andre-Pierre Gignac celebrated his recall to the side by restoring the visitors' lead six minutes before half-time before Florian Thauvin wrapped up maximum points on 58 minutes as Marseille climbed to fourth.


Baup, who has seen his struggling outfit eliminated from Champions League action with two games to play in the group phase, received a welcome tonic following the international break as the Velodrome giants moved one point above Nantes.

It was a tetchy encounter that featured five yellow cards, but only one against the 1993 European champions.


"There were some very interesting things, 17 shots, goals. We tried to keep the ball moving quickly and using width to go forward," said Baup. "It was good to score three goals away from home against an Ajaccio team who really dug in," he continued.


"We saw our players (France) qualify for the World Cup and it has given everyone a boost of enthusiasm. We had a very bad run of results and now we're on a bit of a good run again, and there's still five matches until the winter break.


"We need to try and take maximum points," concluded Baup.


 
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08/11/2013
 

Helped by a brace from former Lille man Dimitri Payet, nine-times champions Marseille won their opening match of the French league season on Sunday, scoring a 3-1 away success at Guingamp.


Pierre-Andre Gignac netted the opener after just two minutes for the 2010 champions with a rebound after an Andre Ayew effort was saved. Payet doubled the advantage for the 1993 European Cup winners just two minutes later after good work from Ayew down the left before making it 3-0 after just a quarter of an hour.


Malian international striker Mustapha Yatabare pulled one back with 16 minutes remaining after Marseille keeper Steve Mandanda had first saved a penalty from the same player seven minutes after the restart, but Marseille were good value for the three points.


Earlier Sunday, Brazilian striker Brandao struck the only goal to ensure a 1-0 win for Saint Etienne and spoil Fabrizio Ravanelli's debut as Ajaccio coach. The 44-year-old Italian, who won the Champions League with Juventus in 1996 but has only two years coaching experience at youth level, could only look on as former Marseille marksman Brandao gave the League Cup winners a perfect start to the season.


Crowd trouble before the match between both sets of supporters put a stain on the opening weekend of the season. Saint-Etienne's team bus was bombarded with missiles from the Corsican club's fans as they arrived at the stadium which led to a series of incidents including supporters from both teams and security personnel.


Lyon are the early leaders on goal difference after crushing Nice 4-0 on Saturday while there were also wins for Monaco, Lille, Nantes, Rennes and Valenciennes.


Defending champions Paris Saint-Germain experienced frustration as they were held to a 1-1 draw at 2012 champions Montpellier in the opening match of the season on Friday.


There was controversy during Valenciennes' 3-0 win at home to Toulouse after referee Stephane Jochem, officiating his first top flight game, awarded a spotkick for what he deemed a foul by Burkina Faso international Steeve Yago on Grégory Pujol only to change his mind several minutes later and red card Serbian Uros Spajic instead. Jochem said afterwards he would would include the incident in his report to the French League.


 
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