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Football: 'New boss' Bielsa sees Marseille edge late win

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Former Argentina coach Marcelo Bielsa, who is widely tipped to take charge at Marseille, watched the struggling French giants clinch an 89th-minute winner for a 3-2 triumph at Montpellier on Friday.

The 58-year-old Bielsa, who has also coached Chile and Althletic Bilbao in Spain and is favourite to succeed the besieged Jose Anigo, took his seat at Montpellier 45 minutes before kick-off.

He then looked on as Marseille twice gave up a one-goal lead before going on to record their sixth away win of the season.

The three points kept them in sixth place in Ligue 1 on 51 points, the same as Lyon, who host leaders Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday.

They are still nine points off the final Champions League qualifying place for next season.

"We controlled the game and I think we deserved the win," said Anigo, whose team was jeered by Marseille fans after last week's win over Ajaccio at their Stade Velodrome home.

"Tonight, we had a lot of players performing at a high level. We will savour tonight, we are still alive in the league. The aim was to find the pleasure in playing again."

Marseille captain and goalkeeper Steve Mandanda said he was unaware that Bielsa was watching from the sidelines.

"He was here? I didn't know that," said Mandanda. "He is passionate about the game and speaks his mind."

"But I don't know if there's anything official, so it's hard to talk about it."

Andre Ayew, who scored a hat-trick in Marseille's 3-1 home win over Ajaccio last weekend, was denied by the woodwork before Mathieu Valbuena, with a clever lob, put Marseille ahead three minutes from half-time.

Montpellier, the 2012 champions who had made sure of their Ligue 1 status for next season with a 2-1 win at Guingamp last week, were level after 48 minutes.

M'Baye Niang was the man on target after being set-up by Remy Cabella, who will leave the club at the end of the campaign.

Marseille were back in front on the hour mark when top-scorer Andre-Pierre Gignac scored with a half-volley for his 14th league strike of the season with Dja Djedje creating the chance down the right wing.

Back came Montpellier for 2-2 after 78 minutes when Mandanda could only parry Cabella's drive into the path of Morgan Sanson, who had come on as a substitute just two minutes earlier.

But in the 89th minute Marseille substitute Dimitri Payet grabbed the winner with a shot which deflected off the foot of a defender and looped over the head of stranded goalkeeper Geoffrey Jourdren.

dj/bc

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140412/football-new-boss-bielsa-sees-marseille-edge-late-win