Marseille hit five, Balotelli sent off in Nice win
Marseille fans made their feelings clear to Patrice Evra as the Mediterranean side put their European troubles behind them by romping to a 5-0 win over Caen in Ligue 1 on Sunday.
Evra, 36, was not involved in the game at the Velodrome having been suspended by his club for aiming a karate kick at the head of one of his team’s own supporters prior to Thursday’s Europa League defeat to Vitoria Guimaraes.
But a banner at one end of the ground carried the slogan “This Game is Over” in English, parodying Evra’s favourite slogan of “I love this game”.
Another banner read: “We don’t want you in our colours anymore. Evra get lost.”
Chants also rang out insulting the former Manchester United and Juventus left-back, who was red-carded after the incident, which occurred in the pre-match warm-up before the game in Portugal.
Without him Marseille ran riot, stretching their unbeaten run in the league to seven games as they climbed provisionally up to third above Nantes.
Luiz Gustavo put the home side ahead just before the break, sweeping home after a Florian Thauvin shot had been blocked.
Thauvin then made it 2-0 just after the restart before Morgan Sanson got the third. But Thauvin was the main threat and the winger crossed for Kostas Mitroglou to head in before he completed the scoring with his second of the afternoon.
Relief for Bielsa
Earlier, Mario Balotelli scored the only goal of the game as Nice beat Dijon 1-0, only for his afternoon to be marred when he was sent off late on.
The Italian striker converted a penalty five minutes from half-time after a foul on Alassane Plea in the area for his sixth league goal of the campaign.
He was then sent off for the third time in Ligue 1 since moving to Nice at the start of last season, receiving a straight red card for chopping down Dijon defender Cedric Yambere from behind with a minute left.
Balotelli remonstrated with the fourth official as he went off but Nice held on to end a run of four successive league defeats and six consecutive losses in all competitions.
They climb back up to 15th, one point and one place above Dijon.
“Without criticising anyone, it seems a bit harsh. He wanted to win the ball and had no intention to hurt anyone,” said Nice coach Lucien Favre of Balotelli’s sending-off.
“But it is true that a tackle from behind is a straight red. He was annoyed after the match and thought it was too hard on him. But now he’s ok.”
Elsewhere on Sunday, Lille eased the pressure on coach Marcelo Bielsa with a 3-0 win away at bottom club Metz.
Nicolas Pepe scored a brace, including one from the penalty spot, either side of a Fares Bahlouli effort as Lille won for the first time since the opening weekend of the campaign. They remain second from bottom.
Lyon can reclaim third place later with a win away to Saint-Etienne in the Rhone derby, one of the biggest fixtures in French football.
On Saturday, Edinson Cavani scored his 100th and 101st league goals for Paris Saint-Germain as the leaders cruised to a 5-0 win at Angers to stay four points clear of Monaco.
The reigning champions went one better, thumping Guingamp 6-0.
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