x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Marseille off to a flyer while Lopez saves Lyon

The big money signing rescues Lyon with a last-minute free kick on his debut in a 2-2 draw at Le Mans.

The ?25million (Dh130m) signing Lisandro Lopez scored on his debut.
The ?25million (Dh130m) signing Lisandro Lopez scored on his debut.

Big-spending Marseille got off to a winning start to Ligue 1 in Didier Deschamps' first match in charge with a 2-0 win at Grenoble, while ?25million (Dh130m) signing Lisandro Lopez rescued Lyon with a last-minute free kick on his debut in a 2-2 draw at Le Mans. Deschamps, who replaced Eric Gerets, has recruited heavily by bringing in 10 new players, but it was two of the old guard, Mamadou Niang and Benoit Cheyrou, who scored the goals as Marseille extended their unbeaten away run to nine competitive games.

"If we manage to carry on, then that will be great. But we will need to back that up at home," Deschamps said. Bayern Munich could be without captain Mark van Bommel for their next few games after he limped out of their 1-1 draw against Hoffenheim on Saturday with a foot injury. The Dutchman went straight to hospital upon his return to Munich with a suspected fracture, although it is not yet clear how long he may be out for.

Bayern coach Louis van Gaal was already deprived of the injured trio of Franck Ribery, Martin Demichelis and Luca Toni for the Bundesliga opener and was forced to give young defender Holger Badstuber his debut. Nevertheless, the Dutch coach was satisfied with the outcome, despite some early teething problems. "The team forgot to play football in the first half," he said. "We did not adjust to the situation and that was unprofessional. We were good in the second half, though. After the game, I had the feeling that we even should have won."

Sevilla striker Luis Fabiano says the protracted saga over a possible move to AC Milan has not affected him. Milan reportedly had a ?14m bid turned down by Sevilla, who were holding out for a sum closer to the player's ?26m release clause. It is likely Milan have now given up on Fabiano after signing Klaas Jan Huntelaar, but Fabiano claims he is unconcerned. "I'm not thinking about Milan," he said. "They made an offer, but I was always calm and thinking about Sevilla."

* With agencies