Bielsa back with a bang to rout Ranieri

Daily Trust - - SPORT -

Marcelo Bielsa be­gan his reign as Lille boss in style with an open­ing 3-0 win over Clau­dio Ranieri’s Nantes in Ligue 1.

Feted coach Bielsa spent a year out of the game fol­low­ing his swiftly aborted ten­ure as Lazio boss and it was an­nounced in Fe­bru­ary he would re­turn to France’s top flight, hav­ing proved a hit at Mar­seille in 2014-15.

Ranieri is back in the dugout af­ter his Le­ices­ter City fairy tale ended on a sour note six months ago and, af­ter a goal­less first half, the ge­nial Ital­ian en­dured a hefty dose of re­al­ity at Stade Pier­reMau­roy.

Ju­nior Alonso opened the scor­ing in the 48th minute, crash­ing home em­phat­i­cally from the edge of the area af­ter the Nantes de­fence failed to clear.

Three min­utes later, An­war El Ghazi con­verted Ro­minigue Kouame’s cross and un­veiled a t-shirt pay­ing trib­ute to his Ab­del­hak Nouri, his former Ajax team-mate who suf­fered se­vere brain dam­age af­ter col­laps­ing dur­ing a friendly against Werder Bre­men last month.

Speak­ing af­ter the match, Bielsa told re­porters: “We played with a lot of dy­namism and pace, mak­ing very few mis­takes. Our level of play was very high.”

Newly pro­moted Stras­bourg are up next for Lille, while Ranieri’s men will aim to bounce back at home to Mar­seille next week­end.

Marcelo Bielsa

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