Monaco beat 10-man Nice, as Mar­seille coach Bielsa re­signs in the French league

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY SA­MUEL PE­TRE­QUIN

Monaco kicked off its French league cam­paign by beat­ing 10-man Nice 2-1 in the Cote d’Azur derby while Mar­seille coach Marcelo Bielsa re­signed min­utes af­ter his side lost to Caen 1-0 on Satur­day.

The for­mer Ar­gentina coach, widely cred­ited for Mar­seille’s re­turn to promi­nence last sea­son, was out of con­tract in Mar­seille but said this week he had an agree­ment with club pres­i­dent Vin­cent Labrune to ex­tend his ten­ure.

Bielsa, who took over in 2014, gave his res­ig­na­tion let­ter to Labrune be­fore speak­ing at the post-match news con­fer­ence.

“I have fin­ished my work here, I will re­turn to my home coun­try,” Bielsa said.

Mar­seille play­ers hit the wood­work twice and were booed off the pitch af­ter los­ing their open­ing game. Bielsa’s new-look Mar­seille strug­gled to dis­play its usual at­tack­ing brand of football at Stade Velo­drome, and was given an early warn­ing when goal­keeper Steve Man­danda’s su­perb save in the 15th minute de­nied a shot from the un­marked Vin­cent Bes­sat.

Mar­seille’s best chance came in the 22nd, but Ben­jamin Mendy’s half-volley from 25 me­ters struck the left post.

Mo­ments later, for­ward Andy Delort un­leashed a pow­er­ful strike from the edge of the box un­der Man­danda’s cross­bar that si­lenced the home fans.

Mar­seille, which fin­ished fourth last sea­son but al­lowed An­dre-Pierre Gignac, An­dre Ayew, and Jeremy Morel to leave, dom­i­nated the sec­ond half, yet could not find a way past goal­keeper Remy Ver­coutre, who made a fine save to tip Ab­de­laziz Bar­rada’s shot off the post with two min­utes re­main­ing.

In Nice, Valere Ger­main scored in the first half but the hosts were re­duced to 10 men when Olivier Boscagli was sent off for a sec­ond yel­low card be­fore the in­ter­val.

Bernardo Silva lev­eled in the 51st, and de­fender Layvin Kurzawa headed the win­ner home.

Fac­ing his for­mer team­mates, Ger­main, who joined Nice on loan this sea- son, con­verted his first chance to put the home side ahead with a shot in the top cor­ner.

But af­ter los­ing cap­tain Mathieu Bod­mer and keeper Si­mon Pou­plin through in­jury, Nice was handed another blow just be­fore half­time with Boscagli’s dis­missal.

Pro­moted side Angers was in an up­lift­ing mood af­ter se­cur­ing its first win in the topflight in 21 years, 2-0 at Mont­pel­lier. Angers cel­e­brated its re­turn among the elite with goals from Ab­doul Raz­za­gui Ca­mara and Gilles Sunu.

Ca­mara opened the scor­ing af­ter five min­utes with a left-footed strike af­ter Mont­pel­lier de­fend­ers failed to clear the ball prop­erly. Ap­ply­ing a heavy pres­sure, the visi­tors were then pun­ished from a set-piece, with Sunu giv­ing his side more room to breathe with a pow­er­ful strike that took a de­flec­tion and wrong-footed keeper Ge­of­frey Jour­dren.

Chas­ing a fourth con­sec­u­tive league ti­tle, Paris Saint-Ger­main started with a 1-0 win at Lille on Fri­day. Last sea­son’s run­ner-up, Lyon, hosts Lori­ent on Sun­day.

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