Marseille win big at home once again
By A. Scott
Romain Alessandrini bagged a brace as Olympique de Marseille claimed another big home win on Sunday, destroying SC Bastia 4-1 at the Stade Vélodrome.
Olympique de Marseille 4 - 1 SC Bastia
Benjamin Mendy's superb first-half goal was followed by three more after the break, with Alessandrini grabbing scoring twice before Michy Batshuayi sealed the win. Brandão got a goal back late on for Bastia, who have now lost two games on the bounce after starting the season strongly. For OM, it was a second victory in three matches under Míchel, following their 6-0 trouncing of ESTAC Troyes and then a 2-0 defeat in Guingamp.
Míchel handed Brazilian midfielder Lucas Silva a first start for Marseille since his arrival on loan from Real Madrid late last month, while Bastia welcomed back Brandão after suspension. Brandão was facing his former club and he watched on as they opened the scoring quarter of an hour in.
A corner kick was played short from the left to Lassana Diarra, and he set up Mendy, who sent a superb curling shot with his left foot into the net off the underside of the bar from 25 yards. It was just the second goal of his young career in Ligue 1 and was reminiscent of Diarra's stunning goal against Troyes three weeks ago.
That was it for the first period, although Abdelaziz Barrada saw his long-range strike fisted clear by Jesper Hansen just past the midway point in the first half and Rémy Cabella shot over after Karim Rekik had helped a corner into his path at the back post.
However, the home fans had to wait barely 21 seconds into the second half before doubling their lead with a goal that owed everything to Alessandrini's direct running and determination. The former Rennes winger burst through the middle, pounced on a headed clearance by Sébastien Squillaci and played a one-two with Batshuayi before slotting past a helpless Hansen.
Alessandrini was on hand again to make it 3-0 midway through the second half, beating Hansen with a great left-footed finish low into the far corner of the net after Javier Manquillo's cutback came off Yannick Cahuzac and fell into his path.
The points were already secure, and Marseille were threatening to do to Bastia what they had done to Troyes on Míchel's debut. Mendy played a one-two with substitute Lucas Ocampos and crossed from the left for Batshuayi to turn the ball in for Marseille's fourth, but it was Bastia who got the final goal of the evening. Julian Palmieri crossed from the left and Brandão headed home unmarked from eight yards for his first goal as a Bastia player.