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25th-Jan-2015

10-man Nice compound Marseille’s woes

By Agency

Nice, who played most of the second half with 10 men, downed Marseille 2-1 on Friday to compound an already trying week for the French giants and put an unexpected dent in their Ligue 1 title aspirations.
Second half goals from Romain Genevois and Niklas Hult earned Nice the deserved bragging rights in a frenetic Mediterranean derby and left Marseille seeking their first win on the road in three months
Marseille turned up at Nice's Allianz Riviera stadium anxious to get down to the business of playing football and forget about their legal woes that saw a dozen people arrested this week in connection with an inquiry into suspect transfers.
Former coach and sporting director Jose Anigo was among the group picked up for questioning and subsequently released without charge.
The suspect transfers being investigated date back to 2010 and include that of French international striker Andre-Pierre Gignac.
In front of 30,000 fans Nice were seeking to secure their third successive league win, while Marseille were intent on keeping the pressure on Lyon at the summit.
The loss kept them one point adrift of Lyon, who can extend their advantage when they take on fourth-from-bottom Metz on Sunday. Nice moved up to ninth, on 31 points.
"I think we did enough to win the match but we have to give credit to our opponents who played 35 minutes with 10 men," said Marseille coach Marcelo Bielsa. "And they never stopped attacking even when a man down."
In a free-flowing first period an early poor clearance by Marseille keeper Steve Mandanda was pounced on by Alassane Plea but the Nice attacker's attempt went wide.