Marseille beat Brest to keep title hopes alive
© AFP

Marseille kept alive their slim hopes of winning the Ligue 1 title with a 1-0 win over struggling Brest.

A superb first-half Benoit Cheyrou free-kick was enough for the hosts to claim all three points which moved them to within six points of Paris Saint-Germain. In contrast, Corentin Martins' Brest remain rooted in the bottom three after suffering a sixth successive league defeat having failed to score in all but one of those games.

In a game lacking both in quality and goalmouth action, the visitors defended stoutly throughout the first half but found themselves undone by a set-piece just before the break. Brest midfielder Ousmane Coulibaly hauled down Cheyrou just outside the area and the former Auxerre man curled a wonderful free-kick off the inside of the left post to give the hosts a lead going into the break.

The visitors finally managed to test Steve Mandanda in the Marseille goal in the 50th minute but Christian Benchop's 25-yard drive brought a comfortable save out of the French international goalkeeper. That failed to bring the visitors to life though and Mathieu Valbuena went close to doubling Marseille's lead but, after darting into the area, his effort flirted with the wrong side of Alexis Thebaux's left post.

The hosts did have the ball in the back of the net again with 20 minutes to play but Lucas Mendes' header from a Valbuena free-kick was rightly ruled out for offside. Florian Raspentino and Kamel Chafni both wasted good chances to level the score late in the game but the visitors failed to make the breakthrough and Marseille took maximum points.