Monaco beat Marseille to go top of Ligue 1

Big spenders Monaco knocked Marseille off the top of Ligue 1 on Sunday after coming from behind to beat last year's runners up 2-1. Monaco's expected rivals for the title PSG, beat Guingamp in another unconvincing display.

Monaco beat Marseille to go top of Ligue 1
Monaco's Emmanuel Riviere celebrates scoring the winning goal against Marseille. Photo: Boris Horvat/AFP

Newly promoted Monaco went top of Ligue 1 after coming from behind to defeat Marseille 2-1 in a thrilling encounter at the Velodrome on Sunday.

The home side took the lead on the stroke of half-time when a Mathieu Valbuena corner from the left was headed home by Brazilian defender Lucas Mendes for his first goal in the French top flight on 43 minutes.

However the lead was short lived as Monaco took advantage of some sloppy Marseille defending to equalise through Colombian record signing Radamel Falcao who crashed the ball home three minutes inside the second half for his third goal of the season.

Frenchman Emmanuel Riviere then stole the headlines with 11 minutes left as he latched onto a sweet through ball from Portuguese midfielder Joao Moutinho before slotting the ball past former French number one Steeve Mandanda.

It was Riviere's league leading fifth goal of the season.    "I finished off the work," said Riviere.

"My speed is my greatest quality and Im at 100% this season.

"It is my confidence which explains my success and the work I've put in.

"What is missing is finishing but my ambition is to target the France national team," he added.

On a sour note for the 2004 Champions League finalists, Falcao came off with just over 15 minutes left with a right ankle problem although details of the injury remain uncertain.

Monaco take their early season tally to 10 points from four matches while Saint-Etienne go joint second on nine with Marseille after defeating Bordeaux 2-1 earlier in the day and defending champions Paris Saint-Germain are on eight.

Saint-Etienne bounced back from their midweek Europa League disappointment to beat Bordeaux 2-1 at home while Montpellier came back twice to force a 2-2 draw against fellow southerners Nice.

At the Geoffroy-Guichard stadium where Saint-Etienne crashed out in the play-off round on Thursday, losing to Danish side Esbjerg 5-3 on aggregate, Sunday was another matter as goals from Romain Hamouma and captain Loic Perrin ensured there was no European hangover for Christophe Galtier's side.

Meanwhile Nice played their last home match at the Stade du Ray before moving into a new venue but despite leading 1-0 and 2-1, Claude Puel's men were pegged back by the 2012 champions in an entertaining 2-2 draw.

Galtier's side made it three wins from four as their midweek European disaster was put to one side and put them right in the thick of the title race
on nine points.

"I expected a reaction after our Europa League elimination and the best response was the one we produced on the pitch even if there were times we suffered from fatigue and people playing out of position," said Galtier afterwards.

"It's a good win as we were coming off a big disappointment," he added.

Josuha Guilavogui was held out of the hosts' squad with the France midfielder on the verge of a move to Atletico Madrid, but despite his absence Saint-Etienne went in front on eight minutes.

Banel Nicolita was afforded too much time on the right and his teasing cross was volleyed expertly past Bordeaux goalkeeper Cedric Carrasso by Hamouma.

The home side came close to a second just before half-time as Fabien Lemoine rattled the post, and Perrin went onto double their advantage five minutes after the break as he nodded in Benjamin Corgnet's free-kick.

Ludovic Obraniak ensured the hosts were made to face a nervy finish as he cut the deficit with a thunderous strike in the 90th minute, but Saint-Etienne held on to record a third win in four outings and climb up to second.


Marseille 1 (Mendes 43) Monaco 2 (Falcao 47, Riviere 79)

Saint-Etienne 2 (Hamouna 7, L. Perrin 50) Bordeaux 1 (Obraniak 90+1)
Nice 2 (Kolodziecziak 18, Eysseric 43) Montpellier 2 (S. Camara 34, Tiene
Evian 2 (Berigaud 8, 33) Lyon 1 (Ferri 49)
Paris SG 2 (Rabiot 90+1, Ibrahimovic 90+3) Guingamp 0
Bastia 2 (Keseru 43, Romaric 67) Toulouse 1 (Braithwaite 57)
Lorient 1 (Aboubakar 14) Valenciennes 0
Reims 0 Nantes 0
Rennes 0 Lille 0
Sochaux 0 Ajaccio 0

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IN PICTURES: How floods and a bin strike left Marseille submerged in waste

Torrential rain hit the city of Marseille in the south of France on Sunday and Monday, just days after local waste collectors ended a week-long strike, leading to fears of "catastrophic" waste making its way to the ocean.

IN PICTURES: How floods and a bin strike left Marseille submerged in waste
A man stands on a beach covered with cans following heavy rains and a strike of waste collectors in Marseille on October 5th. Photo: Nicolas TUCAT / AFP.

Marseille is located in the Bouches-du-Rhône département, which Météo France placed on red alert for heavy rain and flooding on Monday. Schools in the area shut and people were warned not to leave their homes as two months’ worth of rain fell in a single day in the Mediterranean city, after heavy rains had already caused flooding on Sunday night.

The situation was compounded by the fact that uncollected garbage was blocking storm drains in certain parts of the city – drains which would normally be cleared ahead of heavy rain – and making it more difficult for emergency services to intervene.

The city’s waste collectors had begun clearing the streets on Saturday after an agreement between unions and local authorities put an end to an eight-day strike over an increase to working hours.

But rain over the weekend made the monumental job even more difficult, and the result was that “rivers of rubbish” flowed through the city’s streets on Monday.

“Rubbish is everywhere. It’s a catastrophe,” biologist Isabelle Poitou, director of the MerTerre association, told AFP. “We’re expecting a strong mistral wind which will push the rubbish, which is currently making its way towards the sea, onto the beaches.”

“It’s vital to come and clear the rubbish from the beaches on Tuesday or Wednesday,” she added. “We need to act before the rubbish gets scattered in the sea at the first gust of wind.”

A woman collects waste on a beach after heavy rains and following a strike of waste collectors in Marseille.

A woman collects waste on a beach after heavy rains and following a strike of waste collectors in Marseille. Photo: Christophe SIMON / AFP.

The video below tweeted by BFMTV journalist Cédric Faiche shows the state of a beach in Marseille early on Tuesday morning. “It’s been cleaned several times but cans and different types of plastic continue to arrive…” Faiche wrote.

However, Faiche told BFM there are similar scenes every time there is heavy rain in Marseille, even if the strike has made the situation even worse.

Minister of the Sea Annick Girardin shared a video of the “sad scene” captured in Marseille on Sunday night. “Discussions between trade unions and the city must not make us forget what really matters: we are all responsible for our seas and our oceans!” she said.

“It’s unacceptable,” Christine Juste, deputy mayor in charge of the environment in Marseille told BFM on Tuesday, criticising the “lack of reactivity” in collecting leftover rubbish following the end of the strike on Friday.

“Why wait so long? In the 6th arrondissement, there has been no collection since the announcement that the strike was over,” she said.

IN PICTURES: See how the deluge has left parts of France’s Mediterranean coast submerged

The Aix-Marseille-Provence Metropolis intercommunal structure, rather than city hall, is in charge of rubbish collection in Marseille.

On Monday morning, the Metropolis dispatched 650 workers to clear away as much waste as possible ahead of the heaviest rainfall which was forecast for the afternoon.

On Monday evening, Marseille’s Mayor Benoît Payan told franceinfo that 3,000 tonnes of garbage were still yet to be collected in the city. “I asked the Prime Minister this evening to class the zone as a natural disaster,” he added.