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France - Ligue 1
October 2, 2010
• Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Ètienne
Referee: S. Bre
• Attendance: 35003
90' + 5'
It's all over here at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard in Saint-Etienne and it has finished 1-1 between St. Etienne and Marseille. Andre-Pierre Gignac broke the deadlock in the first-half for the defending French champions but Laurent Batlles equalised just before the hour mark for the league leaders. What a game this has been in Ligue 1! From me and the rest of the Goal.com team here in Saint-Etienne, it's goodbye for now.
90' + 2'
Actually, the added time has just been extended to five minutes here. Three extra minutes for either side to find a winner...
Vitorino Hilton da Silva
Three minutes of added time has been awarded here.... Will we see a winner here?
MATUIDI!!!!!! His dipping shot from the left from a distance is just about finger-tipped over the Marseille crossbar by Mandanda. Phew! What a scare for the defending French champions...
Both sides are going for the kill now and what a game it has turned out to be. I personally find it hard to pick a winner - perhaps the third goal will do it for me...
WHAT A CHANCE THERE FOR ST. ETIENNE! They launch a quick counter-attack and it is four against three but Gonzalo Bergessios' final shot from the edge of the Marseille area is hit straight at Steve Mandanda.
Payet marches down the left flank and floats in a brilliant cross that Riviere tries to head home but cannot get a proper connection. Second later Loïc Remy shoots wide from an acute angle for Marseille. End-to-end stuff here...
JANOT!!!!!!!! Save of the game for sure!!!!!! Charles Kaboré takes an attempt from outside the area aiming at the far corner but the St. Etienne custodian parries it away.
ST. ETIENNE!!!!!! A header goes just over the crossbar as Marseille's hearts rise to their neck! Boy, how close was that header from just yards out.
A quarter of an hour remains in the match. It is still a tantalising affair and I get the feeling that the third goal in the game will be decisive.
Now Lucho tries his luck from distance but his shot sails way over the crossbar.
End-to-end stuff here as Ayew tricks his marker, gets some space inside the St. Etienne penalty area and tries a low cross but it is intercepted.
GIGNAC!!!!!!! The Marseille striker gallops down the left flank and gets near the byline from where he tries to squeeze the ball under Janot but the St. Etienne custodian makes a very good stop. 1-1 it stays here...
Yellow Card Dimitri Payet
PAYET!!!!! Azpilicueta loses possession near his penalty area and Payet gets the ball. His rather subtle shot from just outside the Marseille box is claimed with ease by Mandanda.
Once again Marseille lose possession inside their own half. It must really be frustrating for coach Didier Deschamps to see his team struggle and not get past their own half of the pitch.
The St. Etienne fans are in full voice here. This is one of the clubs in France in which support is passed down from one generation to the other. What a great campaign the loyal supporters are having this term!
Yellow Card Stéphane M'Bia
We still have around 30 minutes to play here at the Stade Geoffrey-Guichard and it promises to be a very, very interesting last half an hour of what has been a brilliant game of football.
Assist Blaise Matuidi
GOAL! GOAL! GOAL! Batlles has equalised for the home side just before the hour mark. It is 1-1 here and what a brilliant goal it was from the 35-year-old! Once again Marseille lost possession inside their own half very easily, Payet released Matuidi down the left touchline and his fierce cross from the left-wing was put into the net by an onrushing Laurent Batlles. Game on here, folks!
Goal Laurent Batlles
The league leaders seem to be on the up at the moment as the game is being played in the Marseille half. St Etienne are trying to work their way down the left flank and are being helped by Marseille's inability to keep the ball at their feet.
SO SO SO CLOSE!!!!!! The home side's throw is floated in and the header from close range takes a deflection and goes wide by just an inch...
No, nothing concrete emerges from that free-kick really...
St. Etienne now get a free-kick from a dangerous position near the corner flag on the right...
The league leaders try to make the first move as Bakary Sako whips in a low cross from the left flank but it is too far for Riviere.
It's been a slow start to the second-half here as the play is restricted to the midfield. However, these are the early stages and we could well be warming up for yet more scintillating football...
And here we are back for the second-half action. Can St. Etienne stage a comeback or will Marseille find their second goal of the evening? Let's watch...
45' + 1'
It's half-time here and it is 1-0 to Marseille. St Etienne did all the early running but the champions broke the deadlock three minutes before the half-hour mark when Gignac shot home from close range. Join us again for the second-half action.
FREE HEADER!!!!!!!! Laurent Batlles heads a Carlos Bocanegra cross from the left wing from close range but Mandanda makes a save yet again.
LUCHO!!!!! The Argentine's shot from distance is deflected and goes for a corner, from which the champions are unable to do anything. 1-0 to Marseille it stays as four minutes remain in the first-half.
AYEW!!!!!!!!!!!! He hits a ferocious shot with his left-foot that just goes over the crossbar. Marseille are looking more and more dangerous with every passing minute.
Carlos Bocanegra whips in a low cross-cum-shot from the left but it is too far for Riviere. The home side are trying to create something but they are getting smothered at the moment as Marseille are looking strong in the midfield.
VALBUENA!!!!! The Marseille striker rattles the St. Stienne crossbar with a lovely chip from just outside the penalty area. It was so close to being 2-0 to the champions. What a turnaround this has been for the visitors.
Now Lucho Gonzalez and Mathieu Valbuena try to combine upfront but they are eventually thwarted.
Half an hour gone and it is 1-0 to Marseille. St. Etienne have not been themselves since they conceded the goal as the champions are starting to control the midfield and push forward.
You could say that the goal has come against the run of play but then again Marseille took their chance when they had it. Can St. Etienne stage a comeback?
Assist Lucho González
Goal André Pierre Gignac
GOAL! GOAL! GOAL! Andre-Pierre Gignac has scored and made it 1-0 to Marseille!!!!! A brilliant move saw Lucho Gonzalez receive a pass just outside the Etienne penalty area and from there he played a lovely ball through to Gignac, who made no mistake in putting his shot past Jeremie Janot into the Etienne net. 1-0 to the champions here!
St. Etienne have crafted two chances in the last couple of minutes but neither of them have been clear-cut. The home side need that 'inventive' final ball that will rip apart this awkward-looking Marseille backline.
MANDANDA!!!!!! The Marseille goalkeeper once again makes a great save, this time claiming a fierce header from Bayal Sall from close range. St. Etienne are edging closer and closer to their first goal...
HEINZE!!!!!!!!!! The former Manchester United and Real Madrid defender's header from a corner just goes over the St. Etienne crossbar. It was very close indeed. Heinze, by the way, is playing at centre-back today.
STEVE MANDANDA!!! He makes a brilliant save from a stinging shot from just outside the Marseille area. It goes out for a corner and subsequently Heinze clears the ball away but not before there is a suggestion that he handled the ball. Anyway, the referee waves play on and playing on we are here. Still 0-0, by the way...
Emmanuel Riviere!!!!!!!!!! Payet releases the striker from inside his own half and Riviere runs with the ball but his eventual shot goes wide. Riviere did well to beat the Marseille offside trap in the first place. Marseille are in sixes and sevens at the moment.
St Etienne once again go on the attack as a cross is whipped in from the right but it is cleared away. Marseille are struggling to get outside their own half at the moment.
ST ETIENNE!!! Albin Ebondo crafts a cross from the right that is just a bit too high for his team-mate. The hosts are imposing themselves on the defending league champions and are making all the early runnings here.
Andre Ayew tries to run with the ball down the inside-left channel but his rather hurried shot is eventually blocked on the edge of the St. Etienne penalty area.
I just watched the replay of that off-the-line save. It was the former Osasuna defender César Azpilicueta, who made the challenge. Marseille are struggling here now.
GABRIEL HEINZE!!!!!! Riviere is again sent the ball over the top in the middle but Heinze makes a good challenge and clears the ball away. St Etienne look to be on the up now and Marseille are struggling.
CLEARED OFF THE LINE!!!!!!!! Dimitri Payet and Emmanuel Riviere combined well inside the Marseille penalty area and the ball appeared to be going in when a Marseille defender cleared it off the line. What a start to the match!
St. Etienne have 17 points while Marseille have 12. A win for the latter will see them retain hopes of a second successive league championship but a defeat could potentially throw them out of the reckoning.
And we start with the match...
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of the French Ligue 1 match between St. Etienne and Marseille from the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard. It is a game between the leaders of the French first division and last season's champions and it promises to be massive.
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