Thu, Feb 07, 2019 - Page 7 News List

Marseille win at empty Velodrome

AFP, MARSEILLE, France

Olympique de Marseille’s Lucas Ocampos jumps over Girondins de Bordeaux’s Sergi Palencia in their Ligue 1 match in Marseille, France, on Tuesday.

Photo: AFP

Olympique de Marseille on Tuesday won for the first time at home since November last year as they beat Girondins de Bordeaux 1-0 behind closed doors in Ligue 1.

The fixture was played at an empty Stade Velodrome as the hosts were punished by the league for crowd trouble during last month’s defeat to Lille OSC.

The home side’s UEFA Europa League tie against Eintracht Frankfurt in September last year was also played in an empty Velodrome due to supporter behavior.

Coach Rudi Garcia was absent from the touchline after he was suspended for two matches by the league for his behavior toward the referee after the Lille clash.

Garcia complained about the lack of fans in the 60,000-capacity ground.

“It’s bad, these matches behind closed doors are horrible. I said it the first time and it was horrible again this time,” Garcia said. “It’s not football without supporters in the stadium. My suspension is also difficult, but the most important thing was the absence of the fans.”

Garcia was without six of his first-choice players, including transfer-window signing Mario Balotelli, and had to rely on Boubacar Kamara’s goal for a first home win since beating Dijon FCO on Nov. 11 last year.

Bordeaux played with 10 men for more than an hour after Samuel Kalu was shown a red card for a reckless tackle on Lucas Ocampos. The Nigerian dived in with both feet and caught Ocampos on his shin with a badly-timed tackle.

The clearest opportunity in the opening half-hour for Marseille came as Hiroki Sakai’s header was tipped over the bar by Benoit Costil.

Sakai was making his first Marseille appearance since returning as a runner-up from the Asian Cup.

Teenager Kamara’s first league goal of his career came three minutes before halftime.

Valere Germain deflected Bouna Sarr’s corner across goal and Kamara was free to head in an easy finish at the back post with the players’ celebrations echoing around the empty Velodrome.

In the second half, Jimmy Briand went close for Bordeaux on 56 minutes with a powerful half-volley which Steve Mandanda guided away from danger.

Germain wasted a chance to double the lead with a quarter of an hour of play remaining as his glancing header flew past Costil’s post following Nemanja Radonjic’s low cross from the right.

Marseille climb to seventh place ahead of traveling to Dijon tomorrow, while Bordeaux stay in 12th before heading to champions Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday.

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