Monaco beat Marseille to close gap on PSG

Mega-rich French club Monaco closed the gap on leaders PSG at the top of France's Ligue 1 on Sunday after a 2-0 against Marseille. The win comes after PSG needed a late goal to rescue a point against lowly Guingamp. Catch up on all the latest action here.

Monaco beat Marseille to close gap on PSG
Monaco's French forward Emmanuel Riviere (R) celebrates after scoring a goal with Monaco's French defender Layvin Kurzawa. Photo: Valery Hache/AFP

Monaco put the loss of star striker Radamel Falcao to one side and closed the gap on Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain with a 2-0 win against Marseille on Sunday

With Falcao set to miss the remainder of the season after suffering a serious knee injury playing in the French Cup in midweek, Monaco coach Claudio Ranieri paired Valere Germain and Emmanuel Riviere together in the home attack.

And the duo delivered with a goal each as Monaco took advantage of PSG's disappointing 1-1 draw at Guingamp on Saturday to move to within three points of top spot, just two weeks before they host the capital club at the Stade
Louis II.

For Marseille, meanwhile, the defeat followed a disastrous 5-4 defeat to Nice in the French Cup in midweek and left them down in ninth place in the table.

"It's too early to see how the team is going to react during Falcao's absence," said Ranieri.

"But the squad is always very tight."

The Monaco players took to the field sporting t-shirts with the message 'Fuerza Tigre' – 'Strength Tiger' – in support of Falcao, who underwent surgery on a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in Portugal
on Saturday.

And they were unlucky not to take an early lead after a whirlwind start to the game, as Marseille 'keeper Steve Mandanda turned a Riviere shot over the bar inside the opening minute.

Mandanda then saved from Andrea Raggi and saw Riviere shoot just wide from an excellent position, but the breakthrough eventually came four minutes before the break.

Joao Moutinho found Germain, who broke away from Kassim Abdallah before curling a delightful low finish past Mandanda and into the net at the far post.

Germain, who is the son of former Marseille player Bruno, was one of the stars of Monaco's run to promotion last season, but this was just his second top-flight start and his first Ligue 1 goal.

Riviere then finished from a Geoffrey Kondogbia cross shortly before the hour mark to move level with Falcao on nine league goals for the campaign and effectively kill the game, although Danijel Subasic did make a decisive
intervention to deny Andre-Pierre Gignac at the other end soon after.

Elsewhere on Sunday, Lyon continued their superb recent form with a 3-0 win over struggling Evian.

Bafetimbi Gomis turned and fired in his eighth league goal of the campaign to put Lyon ahead on 19 minutes at the Stade de Gerland, before Evian had Ghanaian defender Jonathan Mensah sent off six minutes prior to the interval.

Alexandre Lacazette then netted a brace to take his tally for the season to 12 league goals, leaving Remi Garde's side with six successive wins in all competitions at the start of 2014.

OL are now unbeaten in 12 games since a 4-0 defeat away to Paris Saint-Germain at the beginning of December, and that remains their only defeat in their last 18 outings.

As a result, they lie fifth in the table, three points adrift of fourth-placed Saint-Etienne, who were beaten 2-0 at Bordeaux, for whom Abdou Traore and Henrique were on target.

"There are still a lot of matches to play and lots of points at stake but when you go on a run of three (league) victories it gives you a real boost up the table," said Garde, whose side endured a poor start to the campaign.

"We need to keep our feet on the ground and recover well before a programme of eight matches in February, but we are starting to erase all the crap that we produced before.

"What we have done over the last six weeks, we will need to do again three times over. That shows the size of the task. It is also very exciting to be in this position, coming from behind and building up a bit of confidence."

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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.