Marseille bounce back from Nice chaos as Messi braces for French arc


Paris (AFP) – Marseille bounced back from the violent chaos of their last Ligue 1 meeting to defeat Saint-Etienne 3-1 on Saturday as Lionel Messi prepared to make his Paris Saint-Germain debut.

On loan from Arsenal, Matteo Guendouzi, in the 23rd minute, and former Flamengo Gerson, after 51 minutes, scored their first goals for Marseille.

Turkish star Cengiz Under, another summer signing on loan from Roma, added a third in the 68th minute.

Timothée Kolodziejczak had previously given hope to Saint-Etienne by equalizing in the 32nd minute from a corner.

Last weekend Marseille’s match against neighboring Nice was abandoned after a pitch invasion involving local supporters furious that Dimitri Payet had a bottle thrown into the crowd.

After clashes involving players, staff and spectators, Marseille refused to continue the game, saying their safety could not be guaranteed.

Payet was instrumental in Saturday’s opening goal at the Stade Vélodrome as his revealing pass opened up the space for Under.

His cross found Konrad de la Fuente whose shot was blocked, but Guendouzi was there to call and score.

Justin Kluivert scored his first Nice goal and scored another in a 4-0 beating from Bordeaux.

The match at the Allianz Riviera was played behind closed doors after last week’s horror show with Marseille.

“It was a good birthday present even though it has been a very difficult week,” Nice coach Christophe Galtier told Prime Video after turning 55 on Monday, less than 24 hours after the match with Marseille ended. .

“We opened the scoring quickly, although I was not happy with our game immediately after. We have started the season very well.

Galtier was without Kasper Dolberg, who scored in the Marseille game, after the Danish forward injured his knee in training.

Kluivert, 22, on loan from Roma, scored in the seventh minute, highlighting his quality just half an hour after Nice announced the signing of Algerian striker Andy Delort from Montpellier.

“I thank the owner of the club who worked on the transfer,” said Galtier.

“He is happy to join us. He’s going to be an extra attacker that we need in the way we play.

Delort’s international teammate Hicham Boudaoui broke down on the right before crossing for Kluivert, who stalled.

Kluivert became a supplier just after half an hour.

He led a counterattack, charging towards the Bordeaux area before feeding Amine Gouiri to finish easily.

After his heroic debut, Kluivert’s match ended with a thigh injury as he was replaced by debutant Calvin Stengs, who joined AZ Alkmaar in July.

Gouiri then increased his season tally to three goals, converting a penalty four minutes before the break.

In the empty stadium, the second half meandered until substitute Khephren Thuram, a son of former French World Cup winner Lilian Thuram, scored his first touch in the 85th minute for his first goal of the season.

On Sunday, Messi is expected to make his debut with PSG during the trip to Reims.

Coach Pochettino has said the Argentina striker, along with Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, will “definitely” be in the team towards Champagne.

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