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Marseille on course for League cup hat-trick

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01 Feb 2012 23:16:50

Marseille on course for League cup hat-trick

Holders Marseille reached their third straight French league cup final on Wednesday, goals from Loic Remy and Brandao in either half seeing off Mediterranean neighbours Nice 2-1 to give Didier Deschamps' side an eighth straight win in all competitions.

Remy, who off the field is currently facing a paternity suit, curled home a neat opener on 17 minutes for the 1993 European Cup winners but Nice shocked the majority of the crowd at the Stade Velodrome when Anthony Mounier levelled a minute before the break.

Elliot Grandin, on loan from English second tier side Blackpool, robbed Remy and launched Franck Dja Djedje, who sent over a cross which ex-Lyon man Mounier dispatched into the net.

But just before the hour mark Brandao - who is facing rape charges over an alleged incident in March last year - drove home after confusion in the Nice defence culminated in Francois Clerc fluffing a clearance which left his Brazilian opponent free to accept the gift.

Both sides ended with ten men with Mathieu Valbuena receiving his marching orders for Marseille after 64 minutes and Dja Djedje also being sent for an early bath seven minutes from time.

Marseille coach Didier Deschamps said he was angry at the red card for France international Valbuena, who will now miss Sunday's league meeting with Lyon.

Valbuena, already booked, then received a second yellow for taking a quick free kick and Deschamps complained he felt his man had been hard done by.

"There's the letter of the rule, okay - but there's also the spirit of the rule,," Deschamps commented. Nice boss Rene Marsiglia said he also sympathised.

Marseille, whose weekend win over Rennes took them to within two points of the Champions League positions in Ligue 1, now face Lyon, who beat Lorient 4-2 after extra-time on Tuesday.

Wednesday's game was marred by an incident beforehand when some Nice fans said they had been assaulted by a gang of baseball-wielding thugs.


AFP

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