Marseille beats Sochaux to top league

Marseille moved to the top of Ligue 1 with a comprehensive victory

over Sochaux.

The match at the Stade Velodrome saw a section of the stadium

closed, as a punishment for the Marseille supporters’ group MTP

following crowd disturbances.

But the home fans remained in good voice as they watched

their side reach the league summit.

Goals from Gabriel Heinze and Baky Kone, either side of Hatem

Ben Arfa’s penalty moved Didier Deschamps’ side two points clear of

Lyon, Montpellier and Auxerre having played a game less.

But OM have played a game more than defending champions

Bordeaux, who lie three points adrift in fifth place.

Sochaux rarely troubled their hosts and they struggled from

the first whistle with Brandao heading just wide of goal for the

hosts after good work by Ben Arfa in the third minute.

And the opening goal was not long in coming as Lucho

Gonzalez’s ninth-minute corner found Heinze unmarked, and the

Argentina defender powerfully headed home.

Brandao had another headed chance shortly after but Sochaux

keeper Mathieu Dreyer made a good block to deny the striker.

Ben Arfa then extended the lead as Yassine Mikari brought

down Laurent Bonnart in the box. Dreyer got a hand to the France

international’s penalty but could not keep it out of the net.

Sochaux did force Steve Mandanda into a rare save after the

break as the keeper kept out Boukary Dram’s shot from distance.

And Edouard Butin’s shot then hit the crossbar after an

excellent pass from Dram had found him in space, his effort

deflecting off Heinze before cannoning away off the woodwork.

Ben Arfa then freed Taye Taiwo at the other end but the

Nigeria international could only fire tamely at Dreyer when he

should have done better.

Brandao was then off target with yet another header but the

victory was sealed in injury time as Kone raced in on goal and kept

his composure to curl a right-footed shot beyond the advancing

Dreyer.