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.