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Ligue 1

  • September 10, 2011
  • • 20:00
  • • Stade Vélodrome, Marseille
  • Referee: R. Buquet
  • • Attendance: 40628

Marseille 0-1 Stade Rennais: Kembo-Ekoko goal condemns hosts to worst Ligue 1 start in a decade

Marseille 0-1 Stade Rennais: Kembo-Ekoko goal condemns hosts to worst Ligue 1 start in a decade


Didier Deschamps' side suffered more misery as they were beaten on home soil with a late goal from the striker and remain winless in France's top flight this season

Marseille continued their dreadful start to the season as they went down 1-0 to Stade Rennais. A 76th minute goal from substitute Jeris Kembo-Ekoko left Marseille five games without a win so far in the new Ligue 1 campaign.

The first half however, started, with Loic Remy and Mathieu Valbuena working consistently well together. The first chance for Marseille coming after only 15 minutes: Remy turning both Danze and Kana-Biyik in the Rennais defence, and forcing goalkeeper Benoit Costil into a good save.

Time after time, Valbuena was pendulum-like in his constant switching of possession; moving the ball from one side of the pitch to the other with consummate ease. Unfortunately for the south coast club, their tiny stalwart injured himself midway through the half, meaning Didier Deschamps had to bring on new signing Morgan Amalfitano. The former Lorient midfielder was soon in the action, setting up Remy again. This time, the French international made no mistake with the finish, blasting the ball from 12 yards underneath the on-rushing Costil. However, the goal was disallowed for offside.

Although Rennais didn't have much possession in the first half, they did create a few respectable chances. Mandanda saved low from a decent Kevin Catherine effort early on and captain Kader Mangane also went close, heading just wide from a corner on 35 minutes.

Perhaps the major talking point in the first period, however, was a red card not given to Marseille defender Souleymane Diawara. Rushing in to challenge Jonathan Pitroipa on the right hand touchline, the Senegalese defender caught the 25-year-old midfielder square on the shin. Referee Ruddy Buquet deemed the challenge worthy of only a yellow card, but Rennais manager Frederic Antonetti, and most others, disagreed.

The second half started in much the same way the first finished: Marseille on top. And the Stade Velodrome thought they'd seen a goal six minutes in. Bruno Cheyrou with a magnificent corner, found the head of Diawara who rocketed the ball towards goal, only for Costil to tip the ball away with an out-stretched left palm.

Marseille were piling on the pressure, and with Andre-Pierre Gignac coming on with half an hour to go, it felt as if the 2009-10 champions would grab a goal. An exhilarating 15 minute spell in which Gignac had three superb opportunities to score, would, however, end with Rennais grabbing a shock lead.

A long ball up-field from Costil was headed away by Diawara, only for substitute Kembo-Ekoko to gather the ball 25 yards away from goal, and unleash a piledriver into the bottom left-hand corner, crashing past Mandanda's outstretched arm and eventually securing all three points for the visitors.