Marseille thrashes Toulouse 6-1 in French league
TOULOUSE, France (AP) — Belgium’s rising star Mishy Batshuayi scored twice as Marseille produced its biggest win this season with a 6-1 defeat of Toulouse that provisionally lifted the club to second place in the French league standings on Friday.
After failing to win its four previous matches — including a home loss to Caen last week — Marcelo Bielsa’s players put on a performance characterized by attacking verve and defensive solidity against a poor Toulouse side that was overrun from the start.
Marseille moved ahead of Paris Saint-Germain on goal difference, one point behind leader Lyon while Toulouse remained in the danger zone, two points below safety.
“This win should help us find back our confidence and the level we played earlier this season,” Bielsa said. “If there is something to keep from tonight, it’s the team’s cohesion.”
Marseille, which boasts the league’s best attacking record with 56 goals from 28 games, had conceded seven goals in its last three league games, losing seven precious points in its quest of the French title after failing to hold onto its lead. This time, on their way to a first away win since October, Marseille players made sure it would not happen again by scoring four goals before the interval.
Batshuayi, who started the season as a cover for Andre-Pierre Gignac but has eclipsed the France striker recently, needed two minutes to score with a left-foot shot between three defenders from the edge of the box.
Defender Baptiste Aloe doubled the visitors’ lead four minutes later before Jacques Francois Moubandje beat his own keeper under pressure from Lucas Ocampos.
The 21-year-old Batshuayi netted his sixth league goal before Wissam Ben Yedder pulled one back.
Andre Ayew and Gignac, who came in as a substitute for Batshuayi at the hour-mark, then completed Marseille’s win with 16th league goal this season after firing a low shot at the far post one minute from time. Gignac is now the most prolific active striker in the French league with 97 goals.
PSG hosts Lens on Saturday and Lyon travels to Montpellier on Sunday ahead of a decisive clash with Marseille the following weekend.