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Football: Marseille earn first home win in three months at empty Velodrome

Football: Marseille earn first home win in three months at empty Velodrome

Marseille's Boubacar Kamara (centre) celebrates his side first goal with teammates Lucas Ocampos (left) and Duje Caleta-Car during the French League One soccer match between Marseille and Bordeaux. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

MARSEILLE: Marseille won for the first time at home since November as they beat Bordeaux 1-0 behind closed doors in Ligue 1 on Tuesday (Feb 5).

The fixture was played at an empty Stade Velodrome as the hosts were punished by the French football league (LFP) for crowd trouble during the January defeat to Lille.

The home side's Europa League tie against Eintracht Frankfurt in September was also played in an empty Velodrome due to supporter behaviour.

Coach Rudi Garcia was absent from the touchline after he was suspended for two matches by the LFP for his behaviour towards the referee after the Lille clash.

Garcia complained about the lack of fans in the 60,000 capacity ground.

"It's bad, these matches behind closed doors are horrible. I said it the first time and it was horrible again this time," he said.

"It's not football without supporters in the stadium. My suspension is also difficult but the most important thing was the absence of the fans."

Garcia was without six of his first-choice players including transfer window signing Mario Balotelli and had to rely on Boubacar Kamara's goal for a first home win since beating Dijon on Nov 11.

Bordeaux played with 10 men for more than an hour of play as Samuel Kalu was shown a red card for a reckless tackle on Lucas Ocampos.

The Nigerian dived in with both feet and caught Ocampos on his shin with a badly-timed tackle.

The clearest opportunity in the opening half-hour for Marseille came as Hiroki Sakai's header was tipped over the bar by Benoit Costil.

Sakai was making his first Marseille appearance since returning as a runner-up in the Asian Cup.

Teenager Kamara's first league goal of his career came three minutes before the break.

Valere Germain deflected Bouna Sarr's corner across goal and Kamara was free to head in an easy finish at the back post with the players' celebrations echoing around the empty Velodrome.

In the second half, Jimmy Briand went close for Bordeaux on 56 minutes with a powerful half-volley which Steve Mandanda guided away from danger with their most promising opportunity of the match.

Germain wasted a chance to double the lead with a quarter of an hour of play remaining as his glancing header flew past Costil's post following Nemanja Radonjic's low cross from the right.

Marseille climb to seventh place in the table ahead of travelling to Dijon on Friday, and Bordeaux stay in 12th before heading to champions Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday.

Source: AFP/de


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