Marseille drops crucial points in tie

April 14, 2013

Marseille saw its slim title hopes diminish as it was held to a goalless draw at Lille in the French league on Sunday.

Lille, which is making a late push for a Champions League spot, had the better chances but could not find its way past a Marseille side which has not conceded a goal in its last four games.

Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda pulled off a number of saves to keep a clean sheet, denying Salomon Kalou, Dimitri Payet and Djibril Sidibe among others.

Marseille is nine points behind leader Paris Saint-Germain.

Lyon reignited its bid for a Champions League spot and moved third with a 3-1 victory over Toulouse.

It is two points behind Marseille and two ahead of Saint-Etienne and Nice, which cruised to a 3-0 win against relegation-threatened Sochaux.

Lyon had lost its previous three matches and only picked up two points from five games but it made the perfect start when Clement Grenier fired it into an early lead.

Wissam Ben Yedder leveled in the 28th minute, following some good work from Daniel Braaten on the left flank.

Lyon restored its lead four minutes after the break. Grenier's corner was cleared but came back out to the young midfielder, who put it back in for Bakary Kone to head in his first league goal of the season.

Substitute Bafetimbi Gomis sealed the result in the 63rd minute, sidefooting into an empty net.

Nice is in sixth, below Saint-Etienne on goal difference.

Mahamane Traore broke the deadlock six minutes into the second half, deflecting in Nemanja Pejcinovic's shot after a corner had led to a goalmouth scramble.

Nice doubled its lead following another corner, the clearance coming out for Didier Digard to drive powerfully into the back of the net.

Dario Cvitanich completed the scoring seven minutes from time, lobbing goalkeeper Simon Pouplin from 20 yards (meters).

Cvitanich also had a first-half goal ruled out for offside in what looked a harsh decision.

Sochaux remains just a point off the bottom three.