A late winner from Stephane M’Bia earned Marseille a 1-0 win at Sochaux and moved the southern club a step closer to winning the French league on Wednesday as title rival Bordeaux lost 2-1 at Le Mans.
Marseille is five points clear of second-place Auxerre with six games remaining, while Bordeaux dropped nine points behind Marseille, having played one game less. Marseille defender Souleymane Diawara hailed the team spirit within Didier Deschamps’ Marseille team.
"Everyone fought hard and defended, starting with the strikers who helped us out a lot, and we really wanted the three points," he said. "We shouldn’t look at how other teams are doing. The most important thing is us, how we are doing and winning our games."
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After 32 games, Marseille has 65 points, Auxerre has 60 and Lyon is in third spot with 58, ahead of fourth-place Montpellier on goal difference.
"It’s time to stop dreaming about the title," Bordeaux defender Mathieu Chalme said. "We have seven games left and we will have to get the maximum amount of points to qualify for (the Champions League)."
Bordeaux coach Laurent Blanc also seems to be giving up on defending the title.
"We will try and finish the season well, it could be a long end to the season," he said. "Am I worried about the future? Yes."
M’Bia scored in the 88th minute when he stabbed the ball home from close range after Sochaux goalkeeper Matthieu Dreyer had saved his initial shot.
Bordeaux took the lead at Le Mans when defender Henrique turned in a cross from Jaroslav Plasil, but the home side hit back with goals from Anthony Le Tallec in the 27th and Mathieu Dossevi in the 45th minutes.
Le Mans is in 18th place and remains deep in relegation trouble, 10 points behind 17th-place Saint-Etienne.
Also, Paris Saint-Germain beat amateur side Quevilly 1-0 to reach the French Cup final, where it will play Monaco. Turkey striker Mevlut Erding scored the only goal in the second half.