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Marseille beats reeling Valenciennes to go fifth in Ligue 1

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The Canadian Press
1/29/2014 6:53:07 PM
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PARIS -- Striker Andre-Pierre Gignac scored his 10th goal in the past nine games as Marseille beat struggling Valenciennes 2-1 on Wednesday to move up to fifth place in the French league.

Gignac put Marseille ahead in the 32nd minute following a bad mistake from defender Eloge Yamissi, whose weak back pass fell invitingly to Gignac, who rounded goalkeeper Nicolas Penneteau for his 16th goal of the season in all competitions.

After defender Arthur Masuaka equalized in the 38th, Florian Thauvin got the winning goal when he was sent clean through by Mathieu Valbuena and beat Penneteau at his near post.

"Everyone was committed tonight, our team spirit was irreproachable," Gignac said. "We're six points behind (third-place) Lille now. I hope we carry on like this because we have two home games coming up."

Tensions were running high at Marseille in recent weeks and the players were severely criticized after losing three straight games and conceding 11 goals in those defeats. The fans had been getting on the team's back, even going as far as to issue vitriolic statements, but they got behind the players at Stade Velodrome.

"The fans were great tonight. We had a constructive discussion last night," Gignac said. "They need to continue in this way, and so do we in terms of our commitment."

Marseille celebrates (Photo: Canadian Press)

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(Photo: Canadian Press)
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