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Marseille edge Les Verts to keep pace with leaders

Sunday 23 December 2012 20.57 CET
André Ayew receives the congratulations of his Marseille team-mates

Olympique de Marseille kept pace with fellow Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain FC and Olympique Lyonnais thanks to André Ayew's first-half header in a 1-0 success against AS Saint-Étienne.

Élie Baup's side went ahead from their first real chance on the cusp of half-time, as Ayew headed in Rod Fanni's cross from the right. Fanni then cleared off the line in the second half after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had slipped between two defenders and rounded OM goalkeeper Steve Mandanda. That was as close as the visitors came, and Marseille held on to increase their tally to 38 points, with PSG top on goal difference.

Elsewhere, Valenciennes FC hauled themselves up to sixth by edging Évian Thonon Gaillard FC 2-1. The game unravelled for visitors Évian when Djakaridja Koné was dismissed for a challenge on Opa Nguette after 72 minutes; from the resulting free-kick, José Saez latched onto Anthony Le Tallec's flick and notched the winner from close range. In the day's other match, Toulouse FC downed FC Sochaux-Montbéliard 2-0.

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