PARIS, Sept 25 — Florian Thauvin sparked Marseille to a 2-0 victory over Toulouse in Ligue 1 yesterday as home fans voiced their support for stricken former club president Bernard Tapie.
French winger Thauvin forced in the opening goal on 32 minutes at the Stade Velodrome before Lucas Ocampos bundled in a second just past the hour to lift Marseille up to fifth place.
Supporters unfurled a series of banners and chanted “Tapie, Tapie!” to offer encouragement and pay their respects to the 74-year-old who is undergoing treatment in hospital for stomach cancer.
The flamboyant businessman and former cabinet minister under Francois Mitterand served as Marseille president from 1986 to 1994, a spell that included four straight French titles as well as the club’s lone Champions League triumph in 1993.
Thauvin scored his first goal since the opening weekend of the season as the ball broke invitingly for him to stab in at the near post after Ocampos and Toulouse forward Corentin Jean jostled inside the area.
Ocampos turned in a Dimitri Payet corner with his thigh to secure the points for Rudi Garcia’s side who travel to Salzburg on Thursday for their second game of the Europa League group stage.
Paris Saint-Germain laboured to a 0-0 draw on Montpellier on Saturday, dropping points for the first time this season as Neymar missed the trip south with a right foot injury.
Unai Emery said he expects the Brazilian to return in time for Wednesday’s Champions League showdown at home to Bayern Munich.
Monaco pulled to within a point of PSG as the defending champions hammered struggling Lille 4-0 on Friday with Radamel Falcao netting two more goals to increase his tally to 11 in seven matches.
Leonardo Jardim’s men are also in Champions League action as Porto travel to the principality for a repeat of the 2004 final tomorrow. — AFP