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Ocampos brace helps Marseille stun Nice

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Olympique de Marseille’s Argentinian forward Lucas Ocampos celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match Nice vs Marseille on October 01, 2017 at the “Allianz Riviera” stadium in Nice, southeastern France. VALERY HACHE / AFP

Ten-man Marseille moved up to third in Ligue 1 after Lucas Ocampos hit a brace in a thrilling come-from-behind 4-2 win at Mediterranean rivals Nice on Sunday.

Players joined fans in a minute’s applause in memory of the two victims of a knife attack in Marseille earlier on Sunday, after which the south coast rivals put on a sparkling show.

In an entertaining first half, Marseille hit back from two goals down to head into the break leading 3-2.

Mario Balotelli opened the scoring with a close-range header from a Pierre Lees-Melou corner after just four minutes while Jean Michael Serri doubled Nice’s advantage with a heavily-deflected shot from outside the area.

Ocampos bagged his first soon before the half hour mark, prodding in from close range after Nice’s defence failed to deal with a cross.

Allan Saint-Maximin blazed over when one-on-one with goalkeeper Steve Mandanda and Nice were made to pay.

Five minutes from the break, a sliding Lees-Melou deflected a Florian Thauvin cross past his own goalkeeper.

And in the final minute of the half, Nice imploded again as captain Dante gave away the ball and goalkeeper Yoann Cardinale parried Luiz Gustavo’s shot weakly into the air for Ocampos to nod over the line.

Two minutes into the second period, more sloppy play handed Gustavo a shooting opportunity the Brazilian gleefully accepted to find the bottom corner.

Midway through the half, though, Gustavo was shown a straight red for following through studs up on Lees-Melou.

There was still time for Mandanda to save an Alassane Plea penalty after Saint-Maximin was tripped in the box but Marseille held out.

“It’s a great victory, we showed that we had character,” said Ocampos. “We wanted to show that the 6-1 loss to Monaco was an accident, that it wasn’t fair.”

Earlier, Marcelo was controversially sent off as Lyon’s winless streak extended to five matches after letting a two-goal lead slip in a 3-3 draw at Angers.

With Bruno Genesio’s visitors leading 3-1 in the 50th minute, defender Marcelo was booked for a foul on the edge of the box.

The Brazilian then accidentally knocked the yellow card out of the referee’s hand with a dismissive gesture, earning a straight red card just seconds after his booking.

‘Gesture of frustration’

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas said that he hoped Marcelo’s suspension would be rescinded.

“I had the video, so I asked that the referee watch it,” he said.

“It’s not a question about trying to change this match, I was thinking about the next match against Monaco and I wanted him to see the images to show that Marcelo does not make a gesture against him, it’s simply a gesture of frustration.”

Lyon started quickly as former Real Madrid forward Mariano Diaz scored his sixth league goal of the season in the fifth minute.

Rafael put through his own net to draw Angers level on the half-hour mark, but goals from Mouctar Diakhaby and former Manchester United winger Memphis Depay put the away side in control at the break.

After Marcelo’s bizarre dismissal, Angers roared back with goals from Karl Toko Ekambi and Ismael Traore.

World-record signing Neymar scored twice, including from a penalty, as PSG moved three points clear of champions Monaco at the top by thrashing Bordeaux 6-2 on Saturday.

Despite Radamel Falcao’s 12th goal of the season, Monaco were held 1-1 by Montpellier on Friday.



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