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Injury-prone Abou Diaby completes return to fitness

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The Marseille anchorman was delighted to accomplish his target.

Former Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby completed 90 minutes of football for the first time since 2013 on Wednesday.

The defensive-minded ball-winner started and remained on pitch for the longevity of the clash to help Marseille reach the French Cup final with a 1-0 win over second division Sochaux.

The ex-France international, who won 16 caps for his country, has been plagued with a string of never-ending injuries for the past six years, resulting in him featuring in just 34 games over that period.

The last time Diaby completed the whole 90 minutes of a match came about in a 1-0 defeat to Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup in February 2013, in a game which was settled by Colin Kazim-Richards’ second-half strike, as recorded by Soccerway.

Diaby joined Marseille last July but due to a loss of fitness only made his first appearance for the club in March. Following the sacking of manager Michel on Tuesday, Diaby was recalled to the starting line-up and revealed his delight at the end of the cup semi-final.

He was quotes as saying to L’Equipe: "It's a huge relief to have played the whole match. It's been a long time since I've played for as long.

"I'm very happy, all the more so since there was a win at the end. Now there are a few matches left to continue this momentum and prepare well for the final.”

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