Marseille cruise into third
Olympique de Marseille raced back into third place in the Ligue 1 Conforama table with an emphatic 5-0 win over SM Caen on Sunday.
Olympique de Marseille 5-0 SM Caen
Nantes had moved into the top three with their win over Toulouse on Saturday night, but OM knew a victory to extend their unbeaten run to seven matches would see them inch back onto the podium.
Caen travelled south with the joint-best defence in Ligue 1 having conceded just eight times this term, but Rudi Garcia's men made a mockery of their visitors' supposed stinginess at the back.
Florian Thauvin flicked an early chance wide (3') before Rémy Vercoutre was called upon to make a smart save after Hiroki Sakai's shot had been deflected goalwards by Adama Mbengue (16').
The former Olympique Lyonnais goalkeeper then brilliantly turned away a Konstantinos Mitroglu shot (34') before he was beaten by Luiz Gustavo two minutes before the break - the Brazil international flashing a low shot into the net for his third league strike of the campaign (43').
Having edged in front before the break, OM pulled clear shortly after it. Florian Thauvin (47') and Morgan Sanson (52') found the net in quick succession as the hosts surged clear.
Ivan Santini finally forced a save from Steve Mandanda in the home goal (62') before Ronny Rodelin headed just wide from the resulting corner (63'). That though was as close as Caen would get.
The visitors saw Damien Da Silva forced off with injury before OM added to their woes. Mitroglou claimed his first goal in the colours of his new club (76') and might have added a second had his hit his shot more cleanly from just inside the box.
The ex-Olympiacos and Benfica forward's effort was pushed out by Vercoutre, but only as far as Thauvin, who fired in his fifth goal of the league season and Marseille's fifth of a convincing display (81').
THE PLAYER: Florian Thauvin
The creative attacking midfielder was again at the heart of everything that was positive about Marseille. Enjoying a renaissance on the south coast, the former Newcastle United man had verve and talent in abundance as he helped tear Caen apart.
THE STAT: 13
Thauvin has now scored 13 goals in his last 18 league games in Marseille. He had struck ten times in his first 49.