Gignac guides Marseille past goal-shy Bordeaux

Marseille provisionally pulled to within four points of Ligue 1 pacesetters Paris Saint-Germain on Friday after a gritty 1-0 victory over Bordeaux at Stade Velodrome.

Marseille's French midfielder Andre Pierre Gignac (L) vies with Bordeaux's French defender Julien Faubert (R) in Marseille, France on April 05, 2013.

Andre-Pierre Gignac netted a decisive goal for the second successive match as he struck four minutes before half-time to take his tally for the campaign to 11 and extend Marseille's unbeaten run to five outings.

"In the last five matches we have conceded one goal, in the last four, none. Leading 1-0 we know the opponents will attack, we come to defend our goal from the first line to the last, the goalkeeper to the forwards," said Marseille manager Elie Baup.

Defeat for Bordeaux left Francis Gillot's men languishing a disappointing ninth, while leaders PSG can restore their seven-point advantage when they travel to Rennes on Saturday.

Asked whether he thought his side could reel in PSG, Baup replied: "The evening we drew 0-0 at home to Ajaccio, you were asking me if we could stay in the top three.

"Tonight, the result went our way, we've taken six points (since the draw) and that's done us good, but we have to continue to fight and give our best and we will count the points at the end of the season."

Former England and Marseille winger Chris Waddle turned back the clock as he kicked off his former club's match, but there was no space in the hosts' starting line-up for Joey Barton.

The on-loan midfielder was only named among the substitutes a day after learning he would be summoned to French football's ethics committee for disparaging remarks about PSG defender Thiago Silva, while Mathieu Valbuena was sidelined by a groin injury.

With neither side renowned for being prolific in front of goal -- Bordeaux's total of 29 goals scored only surpassing that of strugglers Reims and Nancy and Marseille (35) the lowest scoring team outside of Bordeaux in the top half of the table -- it was of little surprise that chances were at a premium throughout the evening.

Andre Ayew drew a good low save from Cedric Carrasso inside the opening 20 minutes before Gignac blazed two speculative efforts over the crossbar.

The burly Marseille forward did eventually find his range though on 41 minutes as he galloped down the right after being released by Benoit Cheyrou and took advantage of a slip by defender Ludovic Sane before coolly slotting beyond Carrasso.

Bordeaux failed to register a shot on target until the 70th minute when Nicolas Maurice-Belay stung the palms of Mandanda with Mali striker Cheick Diabate steering a difficult header wide from the rebound.

But the visitors best chance fell to Henri Saivet moments later as the substitute rose unmarked to meet a Ludovic Obraniak corner only to head the ball onto the roof of the net as Bordeaux failed to find the target for the fifth time in eight matches.

About the author

Writer: AFP
Position: News agency