Gignac helps Marseille retake top spot from PSG

Marseille regained top spot in Ligue 1 on Sunday thanks to a 3-1 win over Bordeaux. The victory keeps Marcelo Bielsa's side just one point ahead of PSG, who also won.

Gignac helps Marseille retake top spot from PSG
Marseille win to retake top spot in Ligue from PSG. Photo: AFP

Andre-Pierre Gignac steered home an 85th minute header to help under-fire Marseille to a 3-1 victory over Bordeaux and keep Marcelo Bielsa's side top of Ligue 1 on Sunday.

The come-from-behind win lifts Marseille one point ahead of Paris Saint-Germain while Bordeaux remain fourth but now seven points adrift.

Gignac's clinical strike was his 11th goal of the season and lifts him joint top of the scoring charts with Lyon's Alexandre Lacazette.

Michy Batshuayi wrapped up the scoring in the final minute after Mario Lamina had cancelled out Thomas Toure's opener for Bordeaux.

"It was a tough match right to the end but it's a positive result for us and a great evening," said Marseille's French international Dimitri Payet who set up the equaliser.

"I was able to recover and get some rest during the international break which helped me to work on other aspects of my game. I'm just happy my work has paid off."

The game took a turn for the worse for the home side when Marseille defender Benjamin Mendy was left with egg on his face in the 55th minute as his defensive howler led to Bordeaux's goal.

The 20-year-old defender tried to dribble his way out of trouble before playing the ball straight to the feet of Bordeaux's Nicolas Maurice-Belay who was in perfect position to attack.

The former Monaco winger raced at the outnumbered Marseille defence before laying the ball to the wide open Toure who had the simple task of placing the ball past Steve Mandanda.

The lead was short-lived as a fine cross five minutes later from Payet on the right flank was met by Lamina and his firm header left Bordeaux 'keeper Cedric Carrasso rooted to his line.

It was the 21-year-old Gabonese-born midfielder's first goal in Ligue 1.

Moment of magic 

Then came Gignac's moment of magic and his first goal in three games to ignite the victory.

Earlier this week, Gignac inadvertently found himself at the centre of controversy when it was revealed his transfer from Toulouse to Marseille in 2010 was being investigated as part of a fraud probe.

Around 15 club officials, including president Vincent Labrune and two former presidents, were arrested.

Sources close to the investigation said gangland figures were suspected of receiving commission from several major transfers, including that of Gignac and Senegalese international Souleymane Diawara.

In the weekend curtain raiser on Friday, champions PSG defeated Metz 3-2 as star forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic made his first start in two months and temporarily lifted the champions top of the league for the first time this season.

Argentines Javier Pastore and Ezequiel Lavezzi scored either side of a Gaetan Bussman own goal for the visitors, who remain unbeaten this season.

A pair of Modibo Maiga penalties had briefly brought Metz level early in the second half after turning around 2-0 down at the break, but they couldn't hold out.

In earlier matches on Sunday, fifth-placed Nantes maintained their one point advantage in the standings over Saint-Etienne as the two teams battled to a 0-0 stalemate at La Beaujoire stadium in Brittany.

The Canaries had chances to snatch maximum points, notably from set-pieces, but French international 'keeper Stephane Ruffier denied efforts from Olivier Veigneau, Etay Schecter and Georges-Kevin Nkoudo to preserve his clean sheet.

Elsewhere, 2012 champions Montpellier eased four points above the relegation zone with a 2-0 victory over Toulouse.

Former Lyon and Nice midfielder Anthony Mounier was quickest to pounce on a loose ball in the box after 37 minutes and beat Ali Ahamada in the away goal and put Montpellier 1-0 in front.

Senegal striker Souleymane Camara then made sure of the points with three minutes remaining with an angled shot that again Ahamada failed to keep out.

On Saturday, Lyon extended their unbeaten Ligue 1 streak to ten matches with a hard-fought 0-0 draw at Bastia while Monaco failed to make up ground on the front-runners when they were held 2-2 at home by Caen.

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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.