Marseille ease past Nice in Mediterranean derby

Marseille continued their impressive start to the season with a comfortable 3-0 victory against Riviera rivals Nice, who remain winless after four games. 

The Mediterranean derby lacked its usual fanfare with Marseille fans banned from making the trip up the coast, whilst the Nice Ultras were tucked away in the highest tier of the stadium due to chants made about Emiliano Sala during the 2021/22 season. 

The absence of vocal support made no difference to Marseille, who started on the front foot and didn’t cede control of the match during a dominant first-half display. Nice were given a warning early on when an unpressured Dimitri Payet dragged a shot just wide, but they didn’t heed that warning. 

Without any sign of resistance, Jonathan Clauss played the ball inside to a completely unmarked Alexis Sánchez, who rifled a shot into the top corner of Kasper Schmeichel’s goal to open the scoring. That was the former Manchester United and Arsenal forward’s first goal for Marseille, and he could have had a second if he was less lethargic in possession when he found himself once again unmarked in the Nice box. 

The lead was doubled soon after. Once again, the pressure on the ball was non-existent as Arsenal loanee Nuno Tavares rifled a shot in off the post from just outside the box. Still, Nice didn’t react and they would find themselves 3-0 down before half-time. Tavares almost got his second, but Schmeichel parried the ball into the path of Sánchez could hardly miss from just a few yards out. 

Nice managed to stop the rot in the second half, but couldn’t pose any threat to Marseille, who never looked like conceding. Marseille managed to gift a debut to Eric Bailly in ideal circumstances as he built up match fitness, without ever being threatened. 

Nice now face a tough run as they look to bounce back after a difficult start to the season as they make the trip to Lille before hosting another local rival, Monaco, next week. Marseille, meanwhile, host Clermont Foot. 

GFFN

 

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