New Olympique de Marseille coach Igor Tudor's first match in Ligue 1 Uber Eats saw the southern giants beat Stade de Reims 4-1 on Sunday to close out the first day of the Ligue 1 Uber Eats season. And their new recruits - notably two-goal striker Luis Suarez - shone brightly.
A successful first for Olympique de Marseille coach Igor Tudor and his men! In the Croatian's first match in Ligue 1 Uber Eats, he lined up five of his new recruits: Jonathan Clauss on the right, Nuno Tavares on the left, Samuel Gigot and Chancel Mbemba in central defence, as well as goalkeeper Ruben Blanco. Then two more came off the bench: striker Luis Suarez and midfielder Jordan Veretout.
And they stepped up - to say the least! Smothered by the pressure of a 3-4-3 Marseille side right from the opening whistle, Reims quickly broke down and after a worked cross from Jonathan Clauss, Wout Faes deflected the ball into his own net (13'). After arriving from Lens in July, Clauss played a full match for the first time in an OM jersey, making numerous runs down the flank and creating space for his teammates.
Nuno Tavares: In the footsteps of Laurent Blanc
Meanwhile, on the other side of the pitch, Nuno Tavares wasn't to be outdone. Playing in the left wing-back position, the Portuguese on loan from Arsenal made a display of his power, constantly offering solutions and bagging a classy goal before the break (45'+2). The Portugal international thus became the fifth player from his country to score for OM in Ligue 1 Uber Eats, after Paulo Futre, Rui Barros, Delfim and Rolando. He is also the first defender to score in his first match for the club since Laurent Blanc, who scored twice against Le Havre on 2 August 1997. Reims tried to get back into the game after the break, but new signing Luis Suarez - after replacing Arkadiusz Milik in the 62nd minute - clearly had other ideas.
Luis Suarez equals Dimitri Payet
The Colombian with the fresh face but familiar name was determined to conquer the Orange Vélodrome, and in just over 30 minutes he thrilled the OM fans with two goals. It was the first time since 9 August 2008 against Rennes (Bakari Koné and Hatem Ben Arfa) that two new recruits had scored in their first game for OM. The former Grenada player was opportunistic following a scramble in the Rennes area (75'), before finishing off a counter-attack initiated by Jordan Veretout from a pass laid on by Cédric Bakambu (90'+4). He thus became the second player to score more than one goal in his first match for OM in the league in the 21st century, after Dimitri Payet on 11 August 2013 against Guingamp (also two goals) - and the first player to score a brace after coming on as a substitute since Clinton N'Jie on 6 August 2017 against Dijon.
What other revelations does Tudor have tucked away in his squad? Watch this space, starting with Marseille's Ligue 1 Uber Eats Round 2 trip to Brest on Sunday night.