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Marseille goes top with victory

OLYMPIQUE Marseille took over from Olympique Lyon at the top of the French Ligue 1 with a 2-0 home victory over Nantes on Saturday.

Marseille, which won with second-half goals by Argentinian defender Renato Civelli and Brazilian striker Brandao, provisionally leads the table on 55 points from 29 games.

Lyon is two points off the pace in third on goal difference with Girondins Bordeaux having won 3-0 at bottom club Le Havre with goals by Yoann Gourcuff, Souleymane Diawara and Wendel.

Seven-time champion Lyon was hosting Sochaux and Paris St. Germain, fifth on 52 points, visiting Toulouse yesterday.

"I dare to say I have the title on my mind," Marseille coach Eric Gerets told reporters. "I am delighted to see us at the top but I don't think it will last."

Marseille had to wait until Civelli's header in the 55th minute to break the deadlock after a sluggish first-half. The Argentine defender scored from a free kick by Boudewijn Zenden, who was an inspired halftime substitution.

The Dutchman set up the second goal three minutes later when Brandao capitalized on Zenden's deflected cross to score his first goal at home since joining the Provence side in January.

Lille showed its title credentials as it moved up to fourth place with a 2-1 home win over Grenoble to stay three points adrift of Marseille.

In-form Brazilian winger Michel Fernandes Bastos put the northern side in front with a penalty in the 11th. He then set up Slovak Robert Vittek who tapped the ball into an empty net after a swift counter-attack.


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