Marseille keep up pressure
A review of the weekend's action in France's Ligue 1, with Marseille keeping the pressure on Lyon at the top.
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Marseille earned an impressive result in north-west France on Sunday afternoon, beating Brest 2-1 to keep the heat on Ligue 1 leaders Lyon.
Having been drubbed 4-1 by the team they are chasing in midweek, Elie Baup's men needed to show they had the qualities needed for a title fight today and they did just that at the Stade Francis-Le Ble.
As a result of the win, given to them by goals from Souleymane Diawara and Andre Ayew either side of a Charlison Benschop equaliser, they are two points behind Lyon at the top of the ladder.
Both goal were set up by Joey Barton, with the one-time England midfielder continuing to impress away from the Premier League spotlight.
Jonathan Pitriopa's late goal sealed a 3-2 victory for Rennes that denied 10-man Troyes a second win of the Ligue 1 season.
Estac enjoyed the rare luxury of watching their Breton opponents chase the game for close to an hour, with Stephane Darbion doubling up after Benjamin Nivet headed the opener.
But Rennes pulled a goal back through Romain Alessandrini just after the break and Troyes soon wobbled, Julien Feret drawing the visitors level with an unstoppable drive nine minutes from time.
A point was within the hosts' grasp but they let it slip away, Pitriopa breaking hearts at the Stade de l'Aube with a goal before Corentin Jean's unnecessary dismissal soon after his arrival as an 80th minute substitute.
Lorient edged out Toulouse 1-0 but it was not the sort of convincing performance required to suggest their recent poor form is over.
Christian Gourcuff's side came into the game with only one win in nine and a clear mission to turn things around at home.
Benjamin Corgnet's goal on the stroke of half-time proved enough for the three points, but their failure to put the game away despite a string of early chances led to a nervy finish.
On Saturday evening, Bafetimbi Gomis continued his fine form as Lyon extended their advantage at the top with a narrow 1-0 victory over champions Montpellier at the Stade de Gerland.
Gomis - hat-trick hero in the midweek 4-1 win at Marseille - netted the game's only goal after 26 minutes.
The result ended Les Heraultais' five-game unbeaten run in the league, leaving the visitors too close to the relegation zone for comfort.
Nice dealt a blow to PSG's title hopes with a 2-1 victory in a game which came to life in the closing 15 minutes.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic appeared to have earned the big spending capital side a draw in the 82nd minute, six minutes after Eric Bautheac had given Nice the lead.
However, Valentin Eysseric's impressive right-foot volley won it for Nice, inflicting a first away defeat of the season on Carlo Ancelotti's men.
A late free-kick from Rafael Dias meant Bordeaux dropped what could be two vital points in their pursuit of Champions League football after they drew 2-2 with relegation-threatened Sochaux.
A Loic Poujol strike had put the visitors in front at the Stade Jacques Chaban-Delmas before a Jerome Roussillon own goal brought the hosts level.
A second-half strike from Yoan Gouffran put Francis Gillot's side in front against his old club.
However Dias popped up with just three minutes fro time to earn a point for Sochaux, who dropped into the bottom three, while Bordeaux are now sixth, but just one point off the Champions League places.
Nancy's winless run was extended to 15 games as they remained rooted to the bottom of the table following a 1-1 draw at Evian.
Brice Dja Djedje's clever finish sent Evian ahead just before half-time but Nancy, without a league win since the opening day, clawed themselves back into the contest through Yohan Mollo five minutes after the restart.
A long overdue win never looked like arriving, however, as Evian came closest to maximum points when Daniel Wass crashed a shot against the crossbar.
Valenciennes climbed to fifth in the standings as Foued Kadir's early goal saw off Reims 1-0.
Kadir struck after only six minutes to settle the encounter at the Stade Nungesser in the hosts' favour, despite the visitors dominating thereafter.
Lille and Bastia played out a dour 0-0 stalemate at the Grand Stade Metropole.
Dimitri Payet's free-kick against the post in the first half was as good as it got in terms of goalmouth action, with the hosts controlling the game but unable to take advantage.
A goalless draw at struggling Ajaccio was enough to lift St Etienne up to second in the Ligue 1 standings on Friday night.
Both teams had their chances, but ASSE will be happier with a result that extends their unbeaten run to 10 matches and moves them two points behind leaders Lyon.
Ajaccio, meanwhile, have won just once in their last eight fixtures and sit two points above the relegation zone.