Marseille back in the groove
Goals from Andre-Pierre Gignac and Florian Thauvin saw Marseille return to winning ways after they beat Valenciennes 2-1.
Last Updated: 29/01/14 11:49pm
Goals from in-form striker Andre-Pierre Gignac and Florian Thauvin saw Marseille return to winning ways after they edged to a 2-1 victory over Valenciennes.
Marseille had lost their last three matches - which saw them exit both domestic cup competitions before a defeat at Monaco left them ninth in Ligue 1 - but they took the lead on the half hour through Gignac's 10th goal in nine games.
Although Valenciennes winger Arthur Masuaku levelled matters shortly afterwards, the hosts had the last laugh when Thauvin netted in the 63rd minute.
Goalkeeper Steve Mandanda was required to make a stunning save in stoppage time from Abdul Majeed Waris to ensure Marseille earned all three points to move up to fifth in the standings.
Marseille caretaker head coach Jose Anigo was under pressure to turn the tide after three successive defeats, and his players did not disappoint as they came firing out of the traps.
Thauvin latched on to Dimitri Payet's inch-perfect pass to the right edge of the penalty area before firing narrowly over, while Gignac also came close in the early running.
Nicolas Penneteau came to Valenciennes' rescue with a fine save from Gignac, who beat the offside trap before dribbling past two defenders and shooting.
Marseille's dominance was rewarded in the 30th minute although they were grateful for a mistake from Enza Yamissi, whose poor back pass allowed Gignac to steal in, round Penneteau and score.
It was the least the home side deserved but Valenciennes levelled from their first sight at goal, with Masuaku converting from Rudy Mater's cross.
After a low key start to the second half, David Ducourtioux almost brought the game back to life as a volley from the edge of the box forced Mandanda into a low save, which proved crucial as Marseille then re-took the lead immediately afterwards.
Thauvin had managed to find some space at the back post and tapped in from Mathieu Valbuena's cross in the 63rd minute.
Thauvin should have made sure of the win after being put through by Gignac, but the former Bastia man could only hit the side-netting.
It was nearly a costly miss as, deep into stoppage time, Waris' header looked goalbound until Mandanda made a stunning save to ensure Marseille held on for victory.