Olympique de Marseille appear to be finding their stride under new coach Marcelo Bielsa after outclassing Mediterranean rivals OGC Nice 4-0 at the Stade Velodrome in Ligue 1 on Friday evening.
A brace from Dimitri Payet, and further strikes from Florian Thauvin and Abdelaziz Barrada, allowed Marseille to make it two wins on the bounce and saw them move provisionally into third place in the table ahead of the rest of the weekend’s games.
Bielsa’s methods had been called into question after Marseille took just one point from their opening two games of the campaign, but they recorded a narrow 1-0 win at En Avant de Guingamp last weekend and were far too strong for Claude Puel’s Nice at the newly refurbished Velodrome.
Payet, who Marseille had been keen to get off their wage bill this summer, opened the scoring in the 19th minute, slotting home after Andre Ayew’s initial effort had been blocked by former Marseille defender Souleymane Diawara.
Nice won away to their south-coast foes in Ligue 1 and in the French Cup last season, but they never looked like doing so again this time and they conceded again right on halftime, with Thauvin being left with an easy finish into an empty net from Ayew’s ball across the face of goal.
The third goal arrived just three minutes after the restart, with Payet beating ’keeper Mouez Hassen with a diving header from Thauvin’s flighted cross and after substitute Romain Alessandrini had an effort cleared off the line, the hosts completed a convincing win with three minutes left.
Hassen saved from Giannelli Imbula, but the rebound fell to Alessandrini, who cut the ball back for Barrada, making his debut after signing from Al Jazira in the United Arab Emirates, to tap home.
AS Monaco were scheduled at home to LOSC Lille Metropole yesterday, while today is to see leaders Girondins de Bordeaux looking to extend their perfect start to the season at home to SC Bastia before champions Paris Saint-Germain are to entertain AS Saint-Etienne in the capital.
Japanese couple Rikiya and Ayumi Kataoka had their honeymoon wrecked by the COVID-19 pandemic, but their resourcefulness in enforced exile in Cape Verde has won them appointments as ambassadors for its Olympic team. The Kataokas had completed a third of their round-the-world trip when a suspension in long-haul flights stranded them for five months in the archipelago of 10 tiny islands off the coast of West Africa. Unable to resume their journey to Europe and then home to Japan, and unwilling to head to the African mainland, where virus cases are spiking, they had to trade their skills with domestic businesses to
WEEKEND MATCHES: While Tatung FC made good on their chances early on, Taiwan Steel rallied to win the game 2-3 and move to the top with Taichung Futuro Sunday’s action saw Taichung Futuro, Taipower FC and Taiwan Steel tied for first place on 30 points in the Taiwan Football Premier League, while Hang Yuan FC picked up a point to take the No. 4 spot on 25 points after holding Taipower to a scoreless draw. In Taoyuan, Tatung FC hosted Taiwan Steel. It was an exciting matchup, as the visitors rallied from 2-0 down to take the game with three goals. Tatung made good on their chances early on. Honduran midfielder Elias Argueta opened the account 15 minutes into the game with a low shot from the right. Three minutes
Ronnie O’Sullivan delivered a scathing attack on the next generation of snooker players after he made the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship on Sunday, ending Chinese star Ding Junhui’s world championship dream. The mercurial 44-year-old Englishman won an enthralling high-quality second-round encounter 13-10 to set up a quarter-final clash with three-time champion Mark Williams. When asked by the BBC whether he thought he would remain at the top of the game for this long, the Briton, who turned professional in 1992, said the poor quality of younger players had secured his position and that something drastic would have to happen
Max Verstappen informed his Red Bull team that he would not be driving “like a grandma” in Formula One’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix on Sunday — and he was as good as his word. The Dutch 22-year-old seized his opportunity at Silverstone, ending dominant Mercedes’ run of four successive wins this season and moving up to second place overall, 30 points behind leader Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen’s confidence shone through early on, after slotting into third place behind the two Mercedes, when he was told by race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase to take care of his tires. “Mate, this is the only chance of being