Ligue 1

Marseille maintains European push

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Marseille maintained their push for European football with a 1-0 win over Lorient.

Andre-Pierre Gignac's goal with just eight minutes to play handed all three points to L'OM who extended their unbeaten league run to five games. Lorient have now gone four games without a win and look to be condemned to a mid-table finish despite having 13 Ligue 1 games remaining.

The visitors had the first chance as Yann Jouffre crossed a long ball toward Vincent Aboubakar who beat Nicolas N'Koulou inside the penalty area but could only fire into the side-netting. Marseille looked to hit back and Andre Ayew made a charging run down the left but Gignac could only direct his cross narrowly wide.

The home side were having slightly the better of it but Lorient nearly took the lead in spectacular fashion as Jeremie Aliadiere attempted an overhead kick from Kevin Monnet-Paquet's pass but fired just wide of the target. It had been an even first half but L'OM took control after the interval and Mathieu Valbuena brought a smart save out of Fabien Audard just two minutes after the break.

Raphael Guerreiro then tried a long-range drive for the visitors but Steve Mandanda had no problem turning it away, Dimitri Payet then unleashed a piledriver down the other end which Lamine Kone deflected behind.

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Moments later Valbuena found Gignac who beat Wesley Lautoa to find himself one-on-one with Audard but the keeper did well to make a save. Just five minutes later the duo combined again and it was Audard who came to the rescue once more, palming Gignac's effort behind for a corner.

The stopper was having a stunning afternoon and made his best save of the game with 12 minutes remaining as Payet's free-kick took a deflection off Benoit Cheyrou and Audard managed to turn it around the post at full stretch. Eventually the pressure told, though, and when Guerreiro made a mess of a clearance, Gignac was on hand to roll the ball home.

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