Gignac scores injury-time winner for Marseille

JEROME PUGMIRE AP Sports Writer Published:

PARIS (AP) -- Andre Pierre-Gignac profited from a defensive error to score an injury-time winner as Marseille came from behind to beat defending champion Montpellier 3-2 and move to within one point of French leader Lyon on Saturday.

Marseille bounced back from last weekend's 3-1 defeat at Sochaux with a crucial win, but left it late with two goals in the last 10 minutes.

"We suffered a lot against Montpellier but since the start of the season there is a real solidarity in this team," Marseille coach Elie Baup said. "It was a hard game, we didn't play very well but in the end we won with heart and courage."

Also, Sochaux followed up its win over Marseille by beating Reims 1-0 at home to climb out of the relegation zone and send Reims there instead.

On Friday, Lyon dropped points when it drew 0-0 at home to struggling Evian.

Paris Saint-Germain, which was in third place, can move atop the league on goal difference if it wins at Bordeaux on Sunday. A minute's silence will be held before the game in memory of Nick Broad, PSG's performance director, who died as a result of injuries he sustained in a traffic accident on Thursday.

At Stade Velodrome, winger Andre Ayew gave Marseille the lead in the 14th when he headed in Joey Barton's curling cross from the right, but the lead lasted only two minutes as Emanuel Herrera equalized after being played through by John Utaka.

Montpellier winger Remy Cabella was a constant thorn in Marseille's side and he set up Utaka in the 57th as Montpellier took the lead.

But Marseille equalized with 10 minutes left when Andre Ayew ran onto Gignac's pass and squared the ball to his younger brother, Jordan Ayew, who got to it ahead of defender Mathieu Deplagne and poked the ball into the roof of the net.

Starved of service, Gignac had a quiet game but that did little to affect his scoring instincts as he proved with a razor-sharp finish.

The ball came in from the left and center half Daniel Congre failed to see Gignac lurking behind him on the edge of the penalty area. Congre's weak clearance hit Gignac and he reacted quickly to advance before driving a low shot past goalkeeper Geoffrey Jourdren.

"It was a very hard game for me as I was up against two massive defenders. You only need one chance to put it away," Gignac said after scoring his seventh league goal. "We had to make up for our bad start. Even though we gave ourselves a scare, we have the courage we need to come back and that's a great thing."

Having lambasted his players after the midweek loss to Rennes in the League Cup semifinal, Montpellier coach Rene Girard was angry with them again.

"We played like a junior team. Marseille was incapable of scoring without our help," Girard said. "With all due respect to Marseille, we made too many errors of youth. We wanted to score three, four, five goals and we ended up losing. Football requires more brains, vigilance, intelligence."

Earlier, midfielder Loic Poujol scored Sochaux's winner in the 15th and admitted afterward that his hand had turned the ball in from a corner.

Later, it was: Ajaccio 1, Valenciennes 1; Brest 0, Saint-Etienne 1; Lorient 3, Troyes 2; and Toulouse 2, Nancy 1.

Lorient's win moved it up to fourth place and five points behind PSG.

Forward Kevin Monnet-Paquet and midfielder Enzo Reale scored for Lorient in the first half and center half Gregory Bourillon made it 3-1 in the 83rd after veteran defender Jeremie Brechet pulled a goal back for the visitors. Midfielder Fabien Camus gave Troyes hope with a goal in the 88th, but Lorient held on.

Brandao scored as Saint-Etienne won 1-0 at Brest to secure its first league win in seven games and climb up to eighth place. Winger Franck Tabanou scored both goals for Toulouse, which is a point and a place behind Saint-Etienne.

Veteran striker Adrian Mutu's fifth goal of the season put Ajaccio 1-0 up. Valenciennes center half Benjamin Brou Angoua was sent off midway through the second half but it equalized soon after through 18-year-old midfielder Opa N'Guette's first senior career goal.

In Sunday's other matches, Bastia faces Rennes and Lille takes on Nice.