Full time: Marseille 3-1 Ajaccio: It finishes with the Ayew hat trick being the story of the evening, very few chances for Ajaccio, just the shot against the post from Diarra and the goal that should have been offside on two counts. All in all a reassuring performance from Marseille who resurrect their aspirations of a European placed finish for the end of the season. For Ajaccio, however, the season is over, they are all but mathematically relegated. On a night that should not have posed trouble to Marseille, it didn’t and that’s all from Stade Velodrome tonight. Au revoir.
The Ajaccio goalscorer Tallo is brought off for the replacement Camara.
Chance for Valbuena, the substitute, to round off a reassuring performance but after he cuts back onto his left foot his shot is dragged wide of the right post.
Goal: Ayew Marseille 3-1 Ajaccio. A free kick is played wide to Dja DjeDje who cuts it back into the box and its that man Ayew again to stab it home to complete his hat trick. He has been on fire tonight and with that goal he has almost doubled his season’s tally in one game.
Something for the home fans to cheer about now as Valbuena comes on to replace the popular Payet and Cheyrou comes on for Imbula.
Goal: Tallo Marseille 2-1 Ajaccio: Game back on? and I’m afraid the linesman has had an absolute shocker here. Not just once but on two counts. The ball was played to Mostefa on the edge of the box which was a tough decision but he then played it square to Tallo who is a mile offside and he slots the ball home without hesitation. Shocking decision but the goal stands.
Goal: Ayew Marseille 2-0 Ajaccio: Ayew grabs his second of the night with a free header in the middle of the area which he steers in off the post. Game over?
Andre gets played through on goal for Ajaccio but his first touch takes him to wide and he can only direct his shot directly at Mandanda.
Scrappy start to the second half here as less than clean challenges are going in all over the park.
Second half: Ready to go for this second half. Can Marseille extinguish the late second half worries. 1 minute in and the Ivorian DjeDje goes down after his ankle is stepped on causing a substantial stoppage in play.
Half time Marseille 1-0 Ajaccio: Ayew’s beautifully judged chip with his left foot is the difference between the teams at the moment. But boos are coming from the home supporters as they think they should be further ahead. Credit to Ajaccio though, after a sleepy start they have looked the more likely team to score at the end of that half with Diarra coming closest when he rattled the post with his left footed snapshot.
Chance: Diarra cracks the post with a left footed shot from the edge of the area. Ajaccio look like scoring at the moment. Loud booms echo around the Stade Velodrome as the away fans release some monstrous firecrackers. Temperatures rising all around now.
Ajaccio with a period of decent attacking play and the whistles around the ground are deafening but Marseille on the break produce a chance but Ochoa claims the bouncing ball.
The fans in Marseille are growing restless now: they wanted more goals by now and have been reduced to making farmyard noises at Jose Anigoat‘s men. Presumably some French humour of some sort…
Gignac has a great chance to double the lead but he can not direct his free header from six yards out on target. Should be 2-0.
Ajaccio are finally able to string a few passes together but still have not produced a shot compared to Marseille’s 5 let alone an attempt on goal. The lead isn’t likely to be broken at this rate.
The Stade Velodrome is strangely quiet tonight as the stands are only half full but there are a fair share of chants echoing around the stadium. Marseille are playing as if they really have a point to prove and are pressing the ball very forcefully, not allowing Ajaccio to settle into any sort of rhythm.
Goal, Marseille 1-0 Ajaccio : Marseille make it 1-0 early on as Ayew chips it over the rushing Ochoa from a long ball. Marseille grab the early lead as they score their first first-half goal in 8 matches.
Kick off: Marseille get us under way on this Friday evening. Ajaccio, you feel, really have to take maximum points from this one if they’re to have a glimmer of hope in the run in to the end of the season. Even with three points it’s still a long way to climb. Marseille playing to try to shift the momentum of their dire form in what should be a comfortable three points.
Ajaccio XI to face Marseille: Ochoa, Bonnart, Dielna, Perozo, Mostefa, Lasne, Faty, Baradji, Diarra, Andre, Tallo
Marseille XI to face Ajaccio: Mandanda, Morel, Mendes, N’Koulou, Dja Djedje, Romao, Payet, Imbula Wanga, Khalifa, Gignac, Ayew
Good evening everyone and welcome to our coverage of tonight’s only Ligue 1 fixture which sees struggling Marseille try to clinch a long awaited 3 points against the team sitting at the bottom of the league: AC Ajaccio. To put things into context, Marseille have taken only 2 points from their last 5 league matches and their last win dates back to February. Ajaccio look set to go down come the end of the season having drifted 15 points off 17th place and with only 8 games to play there is little realistic chance of success. Team news to follow…