Paris Saint-Germain moved above defending champion Marseille and into third place in the French league standings with a 2-1 win over its bitter rival on Sunday.
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PSG claimed its first home victory over Marseille in six years to move up to third with 19 points, one more than Didier Deschamps’ team, which has played a game less.
Fourth-place Marseille could have clinched the top spot for the first time this season with a win but failed to take advantage of leader Brest’s 3-1 loss at Lille earlier Sunday.
Brest remains on top of the standings with 21 points from 12 games ahead of Rennes, which has 20 points but one game in hand after its match at Marseille was postponed because of torrential rain last week.
Marseille fans were not allowed at Parc des Princes on Sunday due to security fears following last season’s clashes in the southern city center between the teams’ supporters.
News reports said police arrested about 60 Marseille fans who tried to ignore the ban and traveled independently to Paris.
PSG dominated the early exchanges and Turkish striker Mevlut Erding delighted the home fans in the ninth minute when he tapped home a rebound after ‘keeper Steve Mandanda failed to hold on to an angled shot from Nene.
France striker Guillaume Hoarau, who endured a difficult start to the season with just three league goals, doubled PSG’s lead 10 minutes later with a shot between Mandanda’s legs after Nene found him with a ball over the Marseille defense.
Deschamps rued his team’s poor start to the game and blamed the team’s late arrival at the Parc des Princes.
"I don’t want to use this as an excuse, but we arrived at the stadium just one hour before kick-off," Deschamps said. "I don’t know how they achieved this, but they managed to create traffic jams for us."
Marseille recovered quickly after Hoarau’s goal as playmaker Lucho Gonzalez picked out Andre-Pierre Gignac in the area three minutes later, with the France international forcing goalkeeper Apoula Edel to push the ball away at the near post, where Gonzalez scored from the rebound.
Gignac had another clear-cut chance in first-half stoppage time but Edel made a fine save with his knee to clear his shot.
Marseille kept pushing after the interval but could not find the cutting edge to break down a determined PSG defense.
Loic Remy blasted over in the 52nd minute after Gignac cleverly let the ball pass to the former Nice player before Edel was almost wrongfooted but managed to block Taye Taiwo’s deflected free kick in the 85th minute.
Edel was decisive again in stoppage time when he saved Andre Ayew’s volley from close range from Brandao’s deflected header.
"We got off to a bad start and we paid for it," Marseille defender Souleymane Diawara said.
Lille ended surprise leader Brest’s eight-match unbeaten run with a 3-1 win, with strikers Moussa Sow and Gervinho and winger Eden Hazard all scoring to secure their team’s fourth win this season.
Brest was unbeaten in the league since a 1-0 loss at Lyon on Aug. 28 and had conceded only four goals before traveling to its northern rival.
Sow scored his sixth goal this season from Emerson’s cross in the 41st minute after winger Eden Hazard raced down the left and set up the goal with a backheel pass for Emerson. Goalkeeper Steeve Elana conceded his first goal in 832 minutes.
Ivory Coast forward Gervinho added a second in the 51st before striker Romain Poyet pulled one back 10 minutes later.
Hazard turned both defender Paul Baysse and Elana to score in the 75th.
Brest had previously wasted a good chance to break the deadlock in the 10th minute when Czech midfielder Mario Licka saw his attempt from the edge of the area denied by goalkeeper Mickael Landreau.
Also Sunday, Monaco claimed its second win this season by beating Nancy 4-0 as striker Park Chu-young scored a brace late in the second half.
Struggling Lens ended Montpellier’s three-game unbeaten run with a 2-0 win with goals from Adil Hermach and Kanga Akale, and Nice beat Toulouse 2-0.