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Football: Marseille win to extend PSG title wait

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Marseille ensured Paris Saint-Germain will have to wait another 24 hours before securing the Ligue 1 crown after keeping their remote title hopes alive with a 2-1 victory over Toulouse on Saturday.

Andre Ayew returned from suspension to score twice at the Stade Velodrome, while Eden Ben Basat struck a late consolation as Marseille cut PSG's lead at the summit to four points with the league leaders in action at Lyon on Sunday.

"It wasn't an easy victory against a very good opponent this evening," said Marseille boss Elie Baup.

"We're going to try and finish second. We're assured of finishing in the top three which is already a step completed," he added, a result that guarantees OM's participation in next season's Champions League.

"Now we have to fight to make sure we come second."

PSG could have clinched their first French championship since 1994 without kicking a ball had Marseille lost to Toulouse, however, Carlo Ancelotti's side will finally end their title drought if they triumph at the Gerland.

Ayew breathed life into a rather uneventful first half with the opening goal just prior to the break as he headed a Mathieu Valbuena cross beyond the despairing dive of Toulouse goalkeeper Ali Ahamada.

Wissam Ben Yedder forced Steve Mandanda into a comfortable save shortly after the interval but Toulouse then found themselves further behind as Ayew struck again on 62 minutes.

Moments after Morgan Amalfitano hit the post, the midfielder kept Andre-Pierre Gignac's low ball across the face of goal in play before unselfishly squaring for the Ghanaian to apply a simple finish and take his season's tally to nine.

Serge Aurier cleared off the line after Gignac's scuffed effort was helped goalwards by Ayew as Marseille sought to turn the screw before the visitors grabbed a lifeline as Ben Basat drilled through the legs of Mandanda from a tight angle eight minutes from time.

Ayew's brother Jordan almost added a third for the hosts in stoppage time as he curled just over as Marseille extended their unbeaten run to ten matches and beat Toulouse at home for the first time since 2006.

Elsewhere, Troyes collected a vital three points in their fight to retain their top-flight status with a 1-0 victory at Ajaccio that moves them just one point from safety going into the final two weekends of the season.

Nancy battled back from a two-goal deficit at Bordeaux only to concede a late goal from Cheick Diabate in a 3-2 defeat that means they remain only one point clear of Evian, who host Nice on Sunday, and Troyes.

Meanwhile basement club Brest appeared all but doomed after a 2-0 reverse at home to Sochaux -- their ninth straight loss -- left them six points adrift.

Elsewhere Bastia preserved their Ligue 1 future with a 3-1 victory against Montpellier, while Valenciennes romped to a 4-1 home win over nine-man Rennes.

mw/nr

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130513/football-marseille-win-extend-psg-title-wait