Marseille, with the Portuguese striker Vitinha making his debut in the starting line-up, lost this Sunday at home to Nice, by 3-1, in the 22nd round of the French League and left Paris Saint-Germain more isolated in the lead .
It was not expected that the former Sporting de Braga striker would already be in the starting line-up, days after being introduced, in what was the most expensive transfer for the club from Minho, but the truth is that Croatian coach Igor Tudor decided to put him in the eleven, leaving the usual starter on the bench, the renowned and experienced Chilean international Alexis Sánchez.
From an individual point of view, the debut did not go well for the Portuguese striker, but also for the whole team, which collectively failed, which is why it was already 2-0 down at half-time, with goals from midfielder Sofiane Diop and striker Gaetan Laborde , at 38 and 44 minutes, respectively.
So much so that Tudor decided shortly after the break to remove Dimitri Payet, who formed a double pivot with the Turkish Cengiz Under on Vitinha’s back, also ‘sacrificed’ at the same time for the entry of Alexis Sánchez.
There were no obvious improvements with the changes introduced by Tudor, but Marseille managed to reduce in the 60th minute, by the Ukrainian midfielder Ruslan Malinovsky, who had replaced Payet, and re-enter the points discussion, but it would be Nice, already close to the end, to give the ‘checkmate’ in the game.
The Algerian striker Bilal Brahimi, launched into the game in the 66th minute, replacing the scorer of the first goal, Sofiane Diop, settled the matter by making it 3-1, in the 85th minute.
For the Marseille team, in addition to Vitinha, another Portuguese player entered the squad, the under-21 international Nuno Tavares.
Hours earlier, Lens had managed to do no better than a 1-1 draw in Brest, while Monaco had gone to Clermont-Ferrand to win 2-0.
The Principality team resolved the issue early on, with two goals, at three and 13 minutes, by the Chilean center Guillermo Garipan and the Swiss striker Breel Embolo, respectively, which allowed him to manage the advantage.
The Portuguese international Gelson Martins was launched on the field in the 90th minute, replacing the Senegalese striker Krepin Diatta.
In another game today, Nantes beat Ajaccio, by 2-0, with the contribution of Brazilian central João Victor, borrowed by Benfica, who saw a yellow card in the 56th minute, while for the home team, the Portuguese midfielder Victor Lebas da Silva , aged 18, replaced Vincent Marchetti at 29, eventually being replaced at 84 by Clement Vidal.
In two of the remaining games there were zero goals, at Auxerre-Reims and Lorient-Angers, while Strasbourg, even playing with one player less since the 33rd minute, due to the expulsion of the Ivorian midfielder Jean-Eudes Aholou, won in the reception to Montpellier by 2-0.
Despite today’s defeat, the Marseille team maintained second place, with 46 points, but now has Lens, third, with the same points, and saw Paris Saint-Germain, who beat Toulouse at home on Saturday, 2-1, increasing their lead to eight points, with 54, while Monaco are fourth, with 44, and Rennes, fifth, with 40.