Marseille beats Nancy 1-0 to stay top of league

Associated Press Modified: September 16, 2012 at 4:46 pm •  Published: September 16, 2012
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PARIS (AP) — French leader Marseille won 1-0 away to Nancy on Sunday to maintain its perfect start to the season, with forward Jordan Ayew scoring in the second half after heading in a pass from his older brother.

Marseille, which was in disarray at the end of last season and sold two key players in the summer, totally dominated as it recorded a fifth straight win to stay two points clear of second-place Lyon.

"There's a lot of determination in our squad, we're all working for one another," coach Elie Baup said. "I think the victory is deserved, we should have been two or three goals up at halftime."

Striker Andre-Pierre Gignac had four chances to score in the first half, but was denied three times because of fine saves by goalkeeper Guy Ndy Assembe.

"To go into the break at 0-0 was a miracle," Nancy defender Sebastien Puygrenier said. "They are really good, and Gignac is unstoppable at the moment."

Marseille got a deserved breakthrough in the 53rd minute when Ayew met a cross from Andre Ayew, and his bullet header gave Ndy Assembe no chance.

"We really played well as a unit and there is a real team spirit in this team," Jordan Ayew said.

Although Marseille was in total control, goalie Steve Mandanda made a great save in the 61st to keep out Yohan Mollo's curling free kick.

Earlier, Lyon kept the pressure on Marseille after beating Ajaccio 2-0 on Sunday, thanks to goals from center half Dejan Lovren and striker Lisandro Lopez.

Lyon took the lead in the 25th when Lovren rose above goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa and headed home Clement Grenier's corner.

"Thirteen points out of 15 is good, even though three of our games have been at home," Lyon coach Remi Garde said. "We had an awful lot of possession and it was difficult to get the ball in behind a massed defence of a team."

Lyon's next two matches, against Bordeaux and Lille, will offer a bigger test of the club's title credentials.

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