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20:30

Ayew double sees champs down Nancy

Ligue 1 > Match Reports
27/02/2011

André Ayew scored twice - including an 87th-minute winner - to help Marseille to a 2-1 win at Nancy on Sunday and keep the champions in touch at the top of the table.

Didier Deschamps' side had raised hopes they may defend their title with an eight-match unbeaten run prior to kick-off, but they were on the back foot when Julien Féret claimed his fifth goal of the season on 34 minutes to put the hosts in front. However, Ayew levelled the scores in first-half stoppage time, and the Ghanaian international then grabbed a dramatic late winner to keep OM in third place.

Marseille were held by Manchester United in the Champions League earlier in the week, but Loïc Rémy's pace had caused the English side problems, and the former Nice man proved equally fleet of foot in Lorraine, bringing a pair of early saves from Damien Grégorini in the hosts' goal.

Grégorini was called upon again soon after to deny Ayew as the champions pressed, but his opposite number, Steve Mandanda, had to be just as alert to turn away a Joël Sami header. The French international was helpless, though, when Féret breezed past Charles Kaboré before firing home to give Nancy a deserved lead.

Constant menace

Buoyed by their success, the hosts looked to press home their advantage, and only another top-class Mandanda save prevented Bakaye Traoré putting Pablo Correa's men firmly in the driving seat. That stop would prove doubly valuable as the visitors pulled themselves level in the dying seconds of the half - Ayew reacting quickest when the Nancy defence had been unable to clear their lines.

The injury-enforced departure of Stéphane Mbia early in the second half seemed to rattle the visitors, and only a last-ditch clearance from Taye Taiwo denied Nancy a second after Souleymane Diawara had given away possession cheaply.

Nancy proved much more obdurate than they had in surrendering 4-0 to Lyon last weekend, but they were unable to break down the visitors again and Ayew punished them in the closing stages.

The 21-year-old had been a constant menace throughout, particularly from set-pieces, and he tipped the scales decisively in the favour of OM when he raced clear of the static Nancy defence before beating Grégorini at the second time of asking.

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