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Marseille beat Nice despite absent fans

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31 Mar 2013 15:16:59

Marseille beat Nice despite absent fans

Marseille shrugged aside having their supporters banned from attending their Ligue 1 clash with Nice on Sunday to prevail 1-0 and boost their chances of qualifying for next season's Champions League.

The three points moved Marseille into second place, a point ahead of Lyon, who can retake second spot later should they draw or beat struggling Sochaux at home.

Victory still leaves them seven points adrift of leaders Paris Saint Germain, who beat defending champions Montpellier 1-0 on Friday, but four points clear of fourth-placed St Etienne, who drew 2-2 with relegation-threatened Troyes on Saturday.

The top three clubs qualify for the Champions League, the top two for the group stages and the third for the final qualifying round.

French international striker Andre-Pierre Gignac scored the only goal of the Marseille game, striking in the 15th minute with his 10th goal of the season after being set up by Mathieu Valbuena.

The match had had a lively introduction as Marseille's combative sporting director Jose Anigo had a blazing row with Nice director-general Julien Fournier, who used to be part of the Marseille board.

The players also sparked controversy as in the pre-match warm-up they wore shirts emblazoned with 'Marseille supporters present' in protest at the ban on their fans being allowed to come to the match.


AFP

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