Marseille held 3-3 at Bastia
PARIS (AP) — Argentine coach Marcelo Bielsa got a close-up glimpse of the defensive work awaiting him at Marseille, which blew a two-goal lead to draw 3-3 at Bastia in the French league on Saturday.
Andre-Pierre Gignac scored twice to give Marseille a 3-1 lead but Bastia midfielder Christopher Maboulou also netted twice to salvage a point for the hosts.
Bielsa replaced French coach Jose Anigo in May to help revive Marseille’s fortunes. Marseille was the runner-up in 2013 but finished sixth last season, missing out on a European spot.
“Bastia’s attack created more problems than we expected,” Bielsa told Canal Plus television.
Maboulou put the hosts ahead with a half-volley that looped over Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda in the ninth minute.
But Gignac leveled with a downward header in the 12th before Marseille took the lead with a long-range strike from Florian Thauvin that Bastia centerback Romaric diverted into his own net in the 17th.
Gignac made it 3-1 with a spot kick in the 62nd following a handball from Bastia defender Sebastien Squillaci.
Maboulou was still playing in the second division with Chateauroux last season but he stole the show for his first match in the league. He earned a penalty, converted by Bastia substitute Gadji Tallo in the 66th, and then grabbed a point for the hosts by slipping the ball through Mandanda’s legs in the 73rd.
“What happened tonight is not normal, I’m not happy at all,” Thauvin said. “We lacked discipline. We have to get back to work quickly.”
Also Saturday, Lille dropped two points against promoted Metz in a goalless draw while Turkish forward Mevlut Erding fired Saint-Etienne to a 2-0 win over Guingamp, converting a penalty in the 39th before rounding Guingamp goalkeeper Mamadou Samassa to add a second goal in stoppage time.
Bordeaux edged Montpellier 1-0 with an acrobatic volley from striker Cheick Diabate in the 17th.
Nantes substitute Yacine Bammou scored the lone goal in a 1-0 victory over promoted Lens with a half-volley in the 65th.
Nice came from behind to defeat Toulouse 3-2. The hosts conceded two goals on the stroke of halftime to trail 2-1. But Argentine striker Dario Cvitanich, who opened the scoring with a curling shot from the edge of the box in the 23rd, leveled with a close-range effort in the 63rd before substitute Alexy Bosetti headed the winner in the 69th.
Promoted Caen stunned Evian 3-0 with two goals from striker Mathieu Duhamel, who was the top scorer in the second division last season.
On Sunday, Monaco hosts Lorient and Rennes visits Lyon.
Defending champion Paris Saint-Germain drew 2-2 with Reims on Friday.