Marseille, Lens win opening Ligue 1 games

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Marseille's Colombian forward Luis Suarez (R) kicks the ball as Reims' Austrian goalkeeper Patrick Pentz (L) goes to block it during the French L1 football match betwen Olympique de Marseille (OM) and Stade de Reims at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille, southeastern France, on August 7, 2022.



Marseille have made a winning start to their Ligue 1 campaign, beating visitors Reims 4-1 to quell reports of discontent in their ranks.

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An early own goal from Wout Faes and debut strikes for Nuno Tavares and Colombian signing Luis Suarez ensured success on Sunday in the first game for new coach Igor Tudor, whose arrival at the start of the game was met with a chorus of jeers from the home fans.

It came amid media reports of tensions in the dressing room and after poor results in friendly matches ahead of the new campaign for last season’s French league runners-up.

Faes struck out a leg to steer the ball into his own net after 13 minutes before fullback Tavares, on loan from Arsenal, strode halfway up the pitch before cutting inside to score with a right-foot shot in first half added time.

Substitute Suarez added two more in the last 15 minutes with another Gunners loanee, Florian Balogun, scoring a consolation for the visitors in between.

Nice’s new Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsay introduced himself to Ligue 1 after moving from Juventus by equalising a minute after coming on in the 78th minute against promoted Toulouse, who had taken a 20th minute lead through Thijs Dallinga.

Lens’ Florian Sotoca got a hat-trick but squandered a penalty as they beat Brest 3-2, letting the visitors back into the match and almost dropping the points.

Auxerre made a horror start to their first game back in the French top-flight 1 for 10 years as they went down 4-1 at Lille.

Benjamin Andre took 36 seconds to open the scoring and Jonathan David doubled the lead two minutes later. The Canadian added another before the break with Akim Zedadka making it 4-0 in the 64th minute.

Elsewhere, Montpellier edged Troyes 3-2 for their first home win since January, Rennes were beaten 1-0 by visiting Lorient, and cup winners Nantes drew 0-0 at Anger.


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