Sun, Aug 31, 2014 - Page 18 News List

Marseille shine under new coach, outclass Nice 4-0


Marseille’s France forward Dimitri Payet, left, acknowledges the crowd at the final whistle of their match against Nice on Friday in Marseille, France.

Photo: AFP

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.

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