Ghanaian forward Andre Ayew celebrates after scoring. (Photo: Reuters)
While Andre Ayew’s double gave under-pressure coach Didier Deschamps some breathing space and lifted Marseille to 12th in Ligue 1, south-coast rivals Montpellier went level at the top with Paris St Germain after a 3-1 win at Caen.
PSG host Dijon on Sunday, when champions Lille, in fourth, entertain third-placed Olympique Lyon.
Marseille, champions in 2010 and runners-up last term, have been on a poor run since the start of the campaign and supporters decided to keep quiet on Saturday in protest at what they see as the team’s lack of application.
An eerie atmosphere enveloped the Velodrome, which is also being partially reconstructed, and Ayew worsened the mood on 20 minutes when his penalty and follow-up were saved.
The Ghanaian striker redeemed himself on the half-hour mark with the opener after being set up by brother Jordan, and an excellent header at the far post on 50 minutes doubled the hosts’ lead.
Early season revelations Montpellier moved onto 23 points from 11 games thanks to goals from Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, John Utaka and Younes Belhanda in Caen and despite having Joris Marveaux sent off for a second booking on 64 minutes.
Beleaguered Girondins Bordeaux drew 1-1 at home with Stade Brest and St Etienne overcame Valenciennes 1-0, as did Nancy at home to Nice. Sochaux were held 1-1 by promoted Evian.