Friday, July 28, 2017

Ligue 1 Review: Marseille sparkle in Michel bow

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 23 Aug 2015

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Michel enjoyed a stunning first match in charge of Marseille, as the Spaniard’s side smashed Troyes 6-0 in Ligue 1 thanks to an unstoppable second-half blitz led by Michy Batshuayi.

The former Olympiacos tactician was appointed on Wednesday following Marcelo Bielsa’s resignation on August 8, and his first match in charge resulted in a return to winning ways for Marseille – and quite spectacularly so at Stade Velodrome.

Abdelaziz Barrada broke the deadlock 19 minutes in, tapping in from close range after Batshuayi’s header bounced back off the crossbar and, although their second did not arrive until after the break, Marseille were rampant.

Lassana Diarra was the one to double Marseille’s tally, sending a ferocious 25-yard effort into the top-left corner early in the second half and Batshuayi swiftly added a third, finishing at the end of a fine run.

An acrobatic overhead effort courtesy of Lucas Ocampos put Marseille four up in the 63rd minute, before Romain Alessandrini and Batshuayi completed the rout late on to give Michel a wonderful start to life in France.

Saint-Etienne also picked up their first victory of the season with a 1-0 win at Lorient, but they left it late on the road.

Goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte’s red card for a high foot after just 39 seconds gave the hosts an abysmal start, though Saint-Etienne took 87 minutes to capitalise, with Romain Hamouma providing a cool finish late on to secure the win.

Sunday’s other match saw Lille and Bordeaux play out a 0-0 draw at Stade Pierre-Mauroy, but the only major incident involved a unique piece of refereeing.

Referee Lionel Jaffredo sent off Bordeaux’s Nicolas Pallois for a supposed second booking, but he was allowed to remain on the pitch as Jaffredo realised he had not initially booked the defender.

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