Marseille at 10 beats Nantes 2-1 in the French league
Alexis Sanchez made his first start in the French league as 10-man Marseille beat Nantes 2-1 on Saturday to remain unbeaten.
Marseille secured the winner in the 82nd minute with an own goal from Nicolas Pallois, who deflected a Luis Suarez header into his net.
Marseille, second last season, have seven points from three league games while Nantes are still winless with two points.
“Of course it wasn’t a boring game. It was very emotional,” Marseille coach Igor Tudor told Canal Plus television, calling the result a “victory of character”.
Marseille defender Chancel Mbemba capitalized on a rush to put the hosts ahead in the 70th minute. But Nantes playmaker Ludovic Blas equalized from the penalty spot in the 78th minute after Samuel Gigot received a second yellow card for holding substitute Mostafa Mohamed in the box.
Playing as a false nine, Sanchez got the go-ahead on the ineffective Arkadiusz Milik. The Chilean striker created chances for Jordan Veretout in the fifth minute and Matteo Guendouzi in the 40th. Sanchez also had a few chances to find the net but he fired wide in the 37th and Andrei Girotto rushed in to deflect his effort for a corner in the 13th.
However, Sanchez was often isolated up front as he was the lone striker in the starting lineup. He played behind Suarez in the second half after the Colombian forward replaced the injured Gerson in the 53rd minute. Sanchez was cheered by the crowd when he came off the field in the 65th.
Expectations on Sanchez are high. Marseille fans are hoping to see the player who shone for Barcelona and Arsenal, not the injured player who struggled to be a regular starter with Manchester United and Inter Milan.
Nantes striker Moses Simon failed to convert two big chances, blazing over the bar with the goal at his mercy in the 52nd before goalkeeper Pau Lopez gave up his low shot in the 61st.
In a clash between two expected contenders for the European places, Monaco lost for the first time in the league this season as Lens took a 4-1 win.
Lens are still unbeaten with seven points from three league games while Monaco are off to an uneven start with four points. Monaco were also knocked out by PSV Eindhoven in Champions League qualifying earlier this month.
Lois Openda, Deiver Machado, Seko Fofana and Wesley Said scored for Lens while Monaco centre-back Benoit Badiashile netted a consolation goal.
“They wanted it more than us, they played with more commitment than us,” Monaco defender Axel Disasi told Amazon Prime Video. “Today was a wake-up call. We have to give 100% every weekend.
Monaco were down to 10 men in the 72nd minute after Brazilian right-back Vanderson received a second yellow card for a late challenge on Machado.
In the second division, Saint-Etienne had three players sent off in a 6-0 loss to Le Havre and remain in last place.
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