Marseille return to summit


Marseille returned to the top of the Ligue 1 table with a 3-1 defeat of Metz. Andre-Pierre Gignac opened the scoring for the hosts, only for Florent Malouda to equalise for Metz in the early stages of the second half. However, Andre Ayew restored OM's lead and Dimitri Payet wrapped up the victory at the end. The success means Marseille reclaim pole position from Paris St Germain, with 38 points from 17 matches equalling their previous best in the competition. The hosts had the first chance in the fourth minute but Metz goalkeeper Johann Carrasso denied Ayew. Metz responded in the 17th minute when Malouda's well struck shot was fisted away by Steve Mandanda – and 22 minutes later the Marseille goalkeeper denied the former Chelsea player again. However, four minutes before the break Gignac opened the scoring, finding space to head home an incisive Payet pass from eight yards. Malouda levelled at the start of the second half – his deflected effort from the edge of the penalty box giving Mandanda no chance. It was only Metz's second goal in nine away Ligue 1 matches. However, Marseille restored their advantage just before the hour mark. Payet fed substitute Romao inside the penalty area for a shot that hit the post – but the ball bounced back to Ayew and he finished from close range. Yeni N'Gbakoto brought a good save out of Mandanda midway through the second half – but the home side finished on top. Payet pulled the strings in the closing stages and it was fitting he was the man to score the clinching third goal three minutes into injury time. Rod Fanni freed Payet on the right of the penalty area – and the 27-year-old advanced before finishing coolly over the advancing Carrasso.