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Barton picks up Sixth Yellow as Marseille Stutter

Joey Barton’s dream of winning the Ligue 1 title this season is all but over after Marseille failed to beat Lille away during a dour goalless draw last Sunday – widening the gap at the top of the table

Barton, making is 24th appearance of the campaign, was his usual solid self in midfield and provided cover for Romao and Kadir to press forward in search of an elusive winner.

Sadly, the goal never came and all Barton earned for his hard work was a yellow card and the realisation the league title is likely to head to Paris this summer.

For while Marseille flopped to a lacklustre tie in northern France, PSG recovered from their Champions League exit (a development that surprised few Champions League odds writers) to beat Troyes 1-0 away. It wasn’t a vintage performance from the capital club but it was a win and now they are within two victories of the trophy.

The gap between the top two is nine points and, with five games left in the season, PSG just need victories against Nice and Evian to take the title from Marseille’s grasping fingertips.

Not that Barton should be too downhearted with his first season in Ligue 1. Since arriving in France, the 30-year-old has proven a reliable, intelligent footballer in the heart of Marseille’s midfield and is set to remain on the Mediterranean coast next season if he gets his move away from QPR.

With Barton in the side, all Marseille need to challenge PSG is a goalscorer next term, for that is the department where they are lacking. The team have scored just twice in their past five games and although undefeated over that period three 0-0 draws have lost them six crucial points.

This summer, Marseille must invest in a striker to play alongside Andre-Pierre Gignac, otherwise this team that boasts huge potential will fall by PSG’s side once more, much to the chagrin of Ligue 1 betting fans.

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