OM rise above woes, Montpellier top

Marseille ignored their fans discontent to beat promoted Ajaccio 2-0 on Saturday and secure just their second victory of the Ligue 1 season.

A silent protest from home fans meant that Marseille took to the pitch at Stade Velodrome amid a surreal atmosphere. And the hosts did not help their cause in the 21st minute when Ajaccio goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa repelled Andre Ayew's penalty and follow-up effort after Arnaud Maire had been penalised for handball.

However, the Ghanaian international atoned for his miss with a brace either side of half-time that secured a first victory for Marseille since a 2-0 win over promoted Evian on 21 September.

His first goal arrived on the half-hour mark and was set up by his younger brother, Jordan, who flicked on Cesar Azpilicueta's long throw for Andre to dispatch a right-footed volley into the bottom-left corner.

Andre completed his brace four minutes into the second period, heading home a right-wing cross from Mathieu Valbuena, who has already contributed six assists to the OM cause in Ligue 1 this season.

"It's a difficult period," Deschamps told Orange Sport. "We understand that the fans are unhappy but we all want the same thing, which is for Marseille to be strong and to finish as high as possible. It's not easy for the players but in circumstances like this, you see the players' character come out."

Victory took Deschamps' side up three places to 12th, while Ajaccio slipped to the foot of the table.

Montpellier challenge at the top
Second-placed Montpellier won 3-1 at Caen to draw level on points with leaders Paris Saint-Germain, who host Dijon on Sunday.

Centre-back Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa headed in a Younes Belhanda free-kick to break the deadlock in the 14th minute before John Utaka doubled the visitors' lead with a fine rising drive six minutes later.

We managed things well, we were strong, we held on to the ball well and we were efficient.
Rene Girard, Montpellier coach

Montpellier had midfielder Joris Marveaux sent off in the 64th minute, after he was shown a second yellow card, but Belhanda made the game safe with 11 minutes to play before Benjamin Nivet replied with a penalty for Caen.

"We managed things well, we were strong, we held on to the ball well and we were efficient," said Montpellier coach Rene Girard, who was sent off for dissent late in the game. "We were able to score with ten men. There are no complaints. We were technically superior and it's a good step forward."

Ten-man Toulouse draw
Toulouse weathered the second-half dismissal of Serbian right-back Pavle Ninkov to secure a 0-0 draw at seventh-placed Lorient that took Alain Casanova's side up one place to fifth.

The visitors were grateful to a string of eye-catching saves from 20-year-old goalkeeper Ali Ahamada, while their own best chance saw Umut Bulut head Daniel Braaten's cross over the bar from close range in injury time.

Veteran midfielder Laurent Batlles' second-half header gave Saint-Etienne a 1-0 win at home over Valenciennes that lifted Les Verts to eighth, while an injury-time Aldo Angoula header earned Evian a 1-1 draw at Sochaux.

Elsewhere, Nancy hauled themselves off the bottom by beating Nice 1-0 at home, but Bordeaux remained in the relegation zone after Eden Ben Basat's 63rd-minute equaliser gave Brest a 1-1 draw at Stade Chaban-Delmas.

The weekend's headline fixture takes place on Sunday evening when Lille host Lyon, with both sides bidding to move on from mid-week disappointments in the UEFA Champions League at the hands of Inter Milan and Real Madrid respectively.