Payet, Thauvin score as Marseille takes 2nd spot in France
PARIS (AP) — French internationals Florian Thauvin and Dimitri Payet came to life in an enthralling second half at the Stade Velodrome on Sunday as Marseille moved second in the French league with a convincing 4-0 win over Guingamp.
Thauvin, who was part of the France squad that won the World Cup, scored twice while Payet, who missed out on the tournament in Russia because of an injury, netted a stunning volley and delivered an assist.
Facing a very defensive team, Marseille looked sluggish before the interval but coach Rudi Garcia made some tactical adjustments that paid off. Garcia brought in Maxime Lopez, switched to a three-man midfield in the second half and the high press imposed by his players worked well.
Payet said Garcia was angry in the locker room at halftime, and the players got the message loud and clear.
“We got kicked in the butt at halftime and we woke up,” Payet said.
Marseille moved level on points with Lille — five behind league leader Paris Saint-Germain.
Thauvin grabbed the opener in the 57th minute with a looping header before Payet made the most of a poor clearance from defender Jeremy Sorbon to double the lead. Payet rushed toward the ball on the edge of the area and volleyed it straight into the top corner.
Guingamp, which has lost its five opening matches, crumbled in the closing stages and Thauvin made it 3-0 after being set up down the right, cutting inside to curl the ball past ’keeper Karl-Johan Johnsson at the far post. It was Thauvin’s fifth goal this season, one more than his France teammate and PSG rival Kylian Mbappe.
Konstantinos Mitroglou completed the rout from close range with seven minutes left from Payet’s cross.
GOALS GALORE IN BORDEAUX
Bordeaux manager Ricardo’s first game in charge ended 3-3 after his players twice failed to hold onto their lead in a spectacular six-goal match.
Bordeaux, which was looking for a win after losing three of its four first matches, was held by Nimes in their first meeting since 1993. Nimes is back in the top flight this season.
Jimmy Briand put Bordeaux in the lead with his first goal since he joined from Guingamp in the 26th minute and completed a double after halftime.
Bordeaux went 3-2 up in the 57th when 21-year-old Nigerian player Samuel Kalu scored his first top flight goal with a beautiful left-footed strike off the far post after slaloming through the Nimes defense.
The highly rated Umut Bozok, who had delivered an assist for Baptiste Guillaume earlier in the game, snatched Nimes’ equalizer with 13 minutes left. It was Bozok’s first goal this season after netting 24 in the second division last season.
MENDY SALVAGES DRAW
Reims goalkeeper Edouard Mendy made a series of decisive saves to help his team to a 0-0 draw at Nantes.
Reims, which gained promotion last season by securing the second-division title, played with an efficient five-man midfield that smothered most of the hosts’ attacking moves. And when Nantes managed to break through, Mendy was decisive in his goal.
In the first half, Mendy stopped a dangerous cross from Enock Kwateng in the 31st minute then pushed away efforts from Emiliano Sala and Samuel Moutoussamy.
Gabriel Boschilia came close to breaking the deadlock in the 64th for Nantes with a well-taken free kick but Mendy made a brilliant diving save.
Still looking for a first home win this season, Nantes remains in 17th place two points behind Reims after five rounds of matches, lagging 10 points behind Paris Saint-Germain.