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Football: Gignac earns Marseille first win under Bielsa

Andre-Pierre Gignac ended Marseille's wait for a first victory under new coach Marcelo Bielsa as he scored the decisive goal in a 1-0 win at Guingamp in Ligue 1 on Saturday (Aug 23).

PARIS: Andre-Pierre Gignac ended Marseille's wait for a first victory under new coach Marcelo Bielsa as he scored the decisive goal in a 1-0 win at Guingamp in Ligue 1 on Saturday (Aug 23).

Later, early pacesetters Bordeaux maintained their perfect start to the campaign under new boss Willy Sagnol with a come-from-behind 3-1 win at Nice. That lifted them up to nine points, two clear of Lille, 2-0 winners over Lorient, with Caen a point further back after their 2-0 success at Reims.

Saint-Etienne, the only other team with maximum points so far, host Rennes on Sunday while last year's runners-up Monaco, rock bottom after two matches this campaign, will go in search of their first points of the season at Nantes.

Marseille had made an underwhelming start to the new French campaign, taking a solitary point from their first two matches, but Gignac belatedly ignited OM's season as he struck right after half-time to maintain his fine form. The goal was Gignac's third in as many matches, provisionally putting him alongside Saint-Etienne forward Mevlut Erding atop the scoring chart, and bumped Marseille into the top half of the table with Guingamp dropping one spot to 14th.

Despite the victory Bielsa lamented his side's inability to stretch their lead and put the game to bed earlier.

"The team defended well and started attacks well, but we lacked a bit of a cutting edge when we really threatened," said Bielsa, who replaced interim boss Jose Anigo in the close season.

"We had chances and the score doesn't reflect (our first-half performance)," added the Argentine.

Dimitri Payet was recalled to Marseille's line-up, in place of Romain Alessandrini, by Bielsa and the winger began brightly as he slipped in Florian Thauvin only for the latter to be repelled by Guingamp goalkeeper Mamadou Samassa. Payet then tried his luck from the edge of the area, bending a curling effort narrowly over the crossbar as Marseille asserted their dominance early on.

A venomous long-range strike from Gignac forced Samassa to tip over on 20 minutes with Marseille's sustained pressure leading to the striker heading just wide from a corner shortly after.

Guingamp defender Jeremy Sorbon was a relieved man after he diverted a Thauvin shot narrowly wide of the post but the hosts were caught cold within seconds of the restart after half-time. Payet was the architect as he floated a cross towards Gignac waiting at the far post and the striker drove a volley into the ground and across Samassa into the far corner to put Marseille ahead.

Reynald Lemaitre came closest to an equaliser for Guingamp 10 minutes from time only for his fizzing half-volley to clip the crossbar while there was concern for Marseille as Gignac hobbled off with an apparent ankle injury just before the end.

Sagnol's Bordeaux continued to impress, despite hosts Nice going in front through Alexy Bosetti in the 11th minute. But a Cheick Diabate penalty, and goals from Nicolas Maurice-Belay and Gregory Sertic secured the former champions all three points.

On Friday Paris Saint-Germain laboured to a 0-0 draw with Evian in Annecy as Laurent Blanc's side finished the match with 10 men following the second-half dismissal of Yohan Cabaye.

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