Marseille back at the top

  • Other Sport
  • Thursday, 16 Jan 2003

PARIS: Two first half goals by Ibrahima Bakayoko and Daniel Van Buyten helped Olympique Marseille beat in-form Stade Rennes 2-0 to return to the top of the French league on Tuesday. 

The Ivory Coast striker Bakayoko opened the scoring when he outmanoeuvred defender Julien Escude to slot the ball from close range in the sixth minute. 

Belgian international defender Van Buyten volleyed home a fine cross by Brazilian Fernandao in the 18th minute putting the issue beyond doubt. 

The Brittany side, inspired by their coach Vahid Halilodzic, came to Marseille after a string of five victories which saw them move from the bottom to the 14th place in the table. 

But the hosts dominated from the start and proved solid at the back too despite the absence of suspended captain Frank Leboeuf and injured sweeper Abdoulaye Meite to remain unbeaten at the Stade Velodorme this season. 

In the dying minutes, Marseille went close to a third goal through midfielder Lamine Sakho and then substitute striker Dimitri Syshev. 

Marseille moved from third to first in the standings taking over from Nice at the top. 

Marseille are on 38 points from 22 games, one point ahead of the Riviera club who visited struggling Montpellier yesterday. Title holders Olympique Lyon are on 36 points. – Reuters 

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