Olympique Marseille vs. Bastia  2 - 1

Article

Baup pleased with Marseille spirit

5 May 2013 04:31

Marseille head coach Eli Baup has praised his team's fighting qualities after they scored a late winner in their 2-1 victory over Bastia.

In a performance that kept the pressure on Ligue 1-leaders Paris Saint-Germain and helped Marseille pull away from third-placed Lyon in the battle for second position, Baup was left frustrated that his side's cleansheet streak ended.

Bastia's goal in the first minute of the second half ended Marseille's run of 29 hours and 15 minutes without conceding a goal in Ligue 1 and Baup claimed it almost cost his team the three points.

While Marseille had copped a lot of criticism during that run for not scoring more than one goal in any of the seven matches, Baup argued he would have preferred the media's focus on his team's lack of scoring to continue if it meant they had claimed another cleansheet.

"We got a bit fed up that the only thing you were asking us about was 1-0 victories," Baup said after the match at the Stade Velodrome.

"Well, I'd rather not have conceded this goal so early in the second half, it almost cost us but after that, we have kept on going, we wanted to score again and we got rewarded.

"In this game, we have really shown that we like to play, that we can get chances, and I think the crowd will have enjoyed the match."

Saturday's victory took Marseille seven points ahead of Lyon, who travel to Nancy on Sunday, and within six of PSG, who will host Valenciennes.

Baup claimed he will keep driving his players to fight for the Ligue 1 title in their final three matches.

"We are going to hang on to the podium whilst also fighting for the title despite the odds being against us," Baup said.

"There are three games left, that's nine points to play...I know it's a bit early but I'm already thinking about the Toulouse game.

"We are going to play twice in a row at home and it's never easy.

"So, we need to get ready for that game."

Article

Valbuena wants decisive performance

3 May 2013 02:20

Marseille midfielder Mathieu Valbuena has urged his team-mates to 'go and get it' with European qualification up for grabs on Saturday.

Valbuena has emphasised Marseille control their own destiny with four rounds to go in Ligue 1, as the club sit second on the standings, seven points clear of Lille in fifth position.

The top four clubs in France qualify for either the UEFA Champions League or the Europa League next season and if Marseille defeat Bastia this weekend, while Lille fail to win away to Toulouse, Valbuena's side could finish no lower than fourth.

However, Valbuena has made it clear this weekend is just the first step and that Marseille's main goal is to hold on to second spot and qualify for the Champions League.

"Nothing is being taken for granted, we will have to go and get it," Valbuena said on Thursday.

"We have done well so far but there are still four games to play, four finals.

"We will have to prepare the game in the same way we did recently, with the same mindset but for sure, we will be disappointed if we don't finish second in the league."

While Valbuena emphasised Marseille's job is not yet completed, the club are definitely in the box seat to qualify for next season's Champions League, as they sit four points clear of third-placed Lyon.

Marseille also have three home games in the final four rounds of the season against teams in the bottom half of the table, but head coach Elie Baup denied suggestions 13th-placed Bastia will be an easy contest for his team.

"Bastia is a well-balanced team, they have experienced players who know the league perfectly like Mickael Landreau, Jacques Faty, Sylvain Marchal, Jerome Rothen, Anthony Modeste," Baup said.

"Apart from that, they also have some talented players like Florian Thauvin.

"The majority of the players are experienced.

"They have creative players, they were on a good run, scoring four goals in their last few games.

"They defend well and they score a lot so it's going to be a difficult game for us."

Ligue 1 table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +46 83
2 38 +6 71
3 38 +23 67
4 38 +11 64
5 38 +28 63
6 38 +19 62
7 38 +6 55
8 38 -1 53
9 38 +3 52
10 38 +2 51
11 38 -4 48
12 38 -16 47
13 38 -11 46
14 38 -9 43
15 38 -16 41
16 38 -7 40
17 38 -12 40
18 38 -20 38
19 38 -18 37
20 38 -30 29