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Sep, 17, 2006

Ligue 1: Marseille keep pace with Bordeaux win

MARSEILLE, France, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Ligue 1 challengers Olympique Marseille kept pace at the top with a 2-1 home victory over arch-rivals Girondins Bordeaux on Sunday.

The Provence side grabbed the three points courtesy of goals by striker Mickael Pagis and defender Taye Taiwo. Bordeaux scored a consolation goal through striker Marouane Chamakh from the penalty spot.

Marseille, who are second in the standings with 16 points from six matches, are led by Olympique Lyon only because the five-times champions have scored more goals.

Lyon were never threatened when they clinched a 3-1 victory at promoted Lorient on Saturday, three days after beating Real Madrid in their Champions League opener.

At the Stade Velodrome, Pagis scored his fourth goal of the season four minutes into the second half with a fine lob over Bordeaux keeper Ulrich Rame.

Nigeria left back Taiwo doubled the tally seven minutes later when he netted a powerful free kick. Taiwo, however, was unlucky in the 64th minute when he was adjudged to have fouled Julien Faubert in the box.

Morocco striker Chamakh converted the penalty and French international Faubert was shown a straight red card two minutes from time for a foul on midfielder Wilson Oruma.

Nancy, who could only manage a goalless draw against ten-man Stade Rennes earlier on Sunday, are third five points off the pace.

Also on Sunday, Monaco plunged deeper into crisis with a 2-1 home defeat by Paris St Germain. The 2004 Champions League finalists are now fourth from bottom, one spot above the relegation zone, with just four points from six games.

The principality club said on Saturday Austrian online betting firm bwin.com, whose joint chief executives were detained for questioning by French authorities, would remain their sponsors.

Monaco started well, Sierra Leone forward Mohamed Kallon giving them the lead from close range in the 34th minute after collecting a fine backward pass from teenage midfielder Serge Gakpe.

PSG, however, struck twice through Czech defender David Rozehnal and midfielder David Hellebuyck to grab all three points.

The Parisians' first league victory at Monaco in 22 years took them one place up to 14th.

Manfred Bodner and Norbert Teufelberger, joint CEOs of bwin, were detained for questioning by French authorities on Friday because of alleged violation of French gaming laws.

Gambling is a state monopoly in France and online betting firms are banned from seeking clients on French territory.

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