ANGERS: Jonathan Clauss shone as Olympique de Marseille started a marathon run of games with a convincing 3-0 win at Angers to move top of the Ligue 1 standings on Friday.
Playing the first of 11 matches in 55 days, OM benefited from French international wing back Clauss’ neat performance to gear up for a potentially decisive Champions League game against Sporting on Tuesday.
Clauss score one and set up Luis Suarez and Gerson for the others to put Marseille on 23 points from nine games, one ahead of Paris St Germain who have a game in hand.
Angers, who hit the woodwork through Nabil Bentaleb early on, are left in 14th place on eight points.
“I knew we had good players, good personalities,” said Marseille coach Igor Tudor, who was serving a touchline ban. “Jonathan Clauss is an incredible player. I knew it the first time I saw him. And he’s a good kid. It’s a pleasure to be his coach.”
The home team dominated the opening 35 minutes, penning a sloppy and sluggish Marseille team back. But the hosts could not take their chances and Clauss, who started on the left wing instead of the right flank for a change, put the visitors in front 10 minutes before halftime with a powerful left-footed angled effort after slaloming into the area.
Suarez came close to doubling the advantage four minutes later with a header that went just wide as Marseille piled on the pressure.
Clauss was at it again five minutes into the second half, perfectly setting up Suarez for the Uruguayan to fire past Yahia Fofana from close range.
Just before the hour mark, Clauss combined with Samuel Gigot before delivering the ball to Gerson, who controlled coolly and beat Fofana.
The game then reverted to its earlier pattern with Angers creating and wasting chances before Marseille ended the match rolling the ball around at walking pace.
Published in Dawn, October 2nd, 2022