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Cheyrou: We weren't looking ahead to PSG

Marseille midfielder Benoit Cheyrou has insisted that a lack of focus was not responsible for his side's embarrassing first Ligue 1 defeat of the season at Valenciennes on Sunday.

• Valenciennes 4-1 Marseille

League leaders l'OM had enjoyed a fine start to 2012-13, winning each of their first six games, but came unstuck at the Stade du Hainaut in a 4-1 loss.

With a crunch clash against rivals Paris Saint Germain coming up next week, Elie Baup's side immediately faced accusations that they were looking ahead to that game. However, Cheyrou was quick to deny such claims.

''No, no!'', Cheyrou responded when asked if a lack of focus was the cause of the defeat. "That's impossible. Valenciennes was the most important match. No one was thinking about Paris. And before Paris, [the Europa League match against] Limassol is an important meeting."

Marseille boss Baup lamented a "brutal" day for his players after a defence that had only conceded one goal in the previous six league games managed to ship four in one match.

"Nothing went well, everything was upside down'', Baup said. ''In the first quarter, we didn't manage to put things in place. We had some chances to equalise but we missed them and they led 3-0 at half-time; it was complicated.

"They played a good pressing game, every time we lost the ball we were in trouble. The verdict is brutal and tough. We are going to discuss and work on things. We can't dwell on this heavy defeat, we have to think about what is going on next week and get back in the right place."

Marseille are still three points clear of second-placed PSG at the top of the Ligue 1 table and face Les Parisiens at the Stade Velodrome this weekend.


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