Ligue One Roundup, Feb. 28
Marseille claimed its fifth consecutive win in all competitions
with a 3-0 away thrashing of Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday to move
within three points of French league leader Bordeaux.
Hatem Ben Arfa opened the scoring with his first league goal of the season in the 14th minute. Playmaker Lucho Gonzalez doubled Marseille's lead in the 55th minute before Benoit Cheyrou sealed the victory in the 71st.
Marseille moved up to fourth in the standings with 48 points, one behind Lyon, while PSG remained 12th with 33 points from 26 games. Defending champion Bordeaux and Montpellier have 51 points each with Bordeaux top on goal difference.
Ben Arfa broke the deadlock after a corner, controlling the ball before firing a precise low shot past goalkeeper Apoula Edima Edel.
Considered as one of the most talented French players of his generation, Ben Arfa has struggled to deliver on his huge potential. However, the 22-year-old winger has flourished since the beginning of the year and has been called up for France's friendly against Spain on Wednesday, along with Cheyrou.
PSG had a couple of good chances before halftime through Mevlut Erding and Ludovic Giuly but struggled on set pieces, while Marseille defender Gabriel Heinze hit Edel's right post with a powerful header from Mathieu Valbuena's free kick in the 43rd minute.
Edel gifted Marseille its second goal when he fumbled Heinze's cross from the left, allowing Gonzalez to retrieve the ball before slotting home.
Cheyrou scored from close range with a powerful shot after Mamadou Niang set up his teammate with a header from the edge of the box.
Marseille supporters boycotted the match in protest at security measures imposed on visiting fans.
A few incidents occurred before kick off outside the stadium and police used tear gas to disperse a handful of PSG fans who threw bottles at them.
Earlier Sunday, striker Roy Contout scored twice as Auxerre claimed its fifth away win of the season by beating Lille 2-1.
The 25-year-old Contout, who joined Auxerre from second-division side Amiens this season, started the game after Ireneusz Jelen was ruled out with back problems.
Auxerre remained in sixth place with 45 points.
The game was played on a rain-drenched pitch after being delayed for two hours because of a violent storm that brought heavy rain and strong winds.
Contout put Auxerre ahead in the 19th minute when he headed home Benoit Pedretti's corner at the far post.
Following a swift counterattack, midfielder Eden Hazard leveled with a powerful low shot in the 34th.
Hazard went close five minutes later when he hit the bar from Ricardo Costa's cross.
Lille dominated the second half as Ludovic Obraniak forced goalkeeper Olivier Sorin to make an acrobatic save in the 56th before Costa headed over ten minutes later.
Contout took advantage of a mistake by defender Adil Rami's to give his team the three points with a left foot shot between goalkeeper Michael Landreau's legs in the 72nd minute.
Lille was handed its first loss in seven matches in all competitions and moved down to fifth in the standings with 47 points.
Montpellier beat Rennes 3-1 on Saturday to draw level on points with Bordeaux but having played two games more.
Bordeaux was scheduled to play at Le Mans on Sunday but the game was postponed because of the bad weather.
Seven-time champion Lyon beat Nice 2-0 to stay third.