MARSEILLE, France — An early goal from U.S. international midfielder Alejandro Bedoya gave promoted Nantes a 1-0 victory over Marseille on Friday and saw his team leapfrog its opponent into fourth place in the French league.
Bedoya scored from close range in the 17th minute. Filip Djordjevic cut the ball back for the American, whose low strike took a deflection off a defender to beat Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda for his third league goal.
"Nantes is obviously the newcomer in the league," Bedoya said. "Because of that, everybody predicted we would end up in the bottom of the table. We don't have as much pressure as Marseille to win the game."
There was a minute of applause at Stade Velodrome before kickoff in memory of Nelson Mandela, the father of democratic South Africa, who died on Thursday.
Nantes was the more ambitious side in the first half and nearly doubled the lead in the 28th with Papy Djilobodji's header from a corner, but Mandanda cleared the ball off the line.
Marseille showed more desire in the second half to appease an angry crowd calling for the resignation of Marseille coach Elie Baup.
"When you don't have good results, it's part of the job to accept those things," Baup said. "We must fight because there's always the hope to do better in the next game."
On Saturday, it's: Paris Saint-Germain vs. Sochaux; Lorient vs. Rennes; Reims vs. Nice; Saint-Etienne vs. Evian; and Valenciennes vs. Guingamp.
On Sunday, second-place Lille visits Bordeaux, Monaco hosts Ajaccio, Lyon faces Bastia and Montpellier plays Toulouse.