BREST, France (Reuters) - Olympique Marseille striker Florian Thauvin scored a first goal in more than a year and set up two others to help his side to a winning start in their 2020-21 Ligue 1 season with a 3-2 success at Brest on Sunday.
The France international, who recovered from a long-term ankle ligament injury in March, only for the season to be cancelled, netted for the first time since May 2019 as his deflected shot from the edge of the box looped into the top corner.
Croatian defender Duje Caleta-Car added a second inside half an hour from Thauvin’s free-kick, before Romain Faivre pulled a goal back for Brest.
Thauvin then turned provider again for Caleta-Car to bag his brace with a header from another set-piece, while Gaetan Charbonnier set up a tense finish with a second for Brest.
Marseille’s scheduled season opener against Saint-Etienne last weekend was postponed after the club revealed four players had tested positive for COVID-19.
Earlier on Sunday, Monaco won 1-0 at Metz despite going down to 10 men early in the second half, with Benoit Badiashile scoring the winner emphatically from a set-piece.
Badiashile pounced on a loose ball in the box from a free kick in the first half to volley home the winner and Monaco held on despite having Youssouf Fofana sent off in the first minute of the second half for a second bookable offence.
Nantes were reduced to nine men as they beat Nimes 2-1 with two first-half goals, but their defence was severely tested when goalscorer Imran Louza was shown a straight red card in the 47th minute.
Left back Fabio was then also dismissed late on for a second yellow card offence, after Zinedine Ferhat had reduced the deficit 12 minutes after the restart.
Lille came away from Reims with a 1-0 win when winger Jonathan Bamba let fly with a strike from the edge of the box that beat goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic.
St Etienne beat Lorient 2-0 thanks to a double from Romain Hamouma, with Arnaud Nordin assisting both goals, while Girondins de Bordeaux also won 2-0 at Angers with first-half goals scored two minutes apart by Josh Maja and Toma Basic.
Nice remain top of the standings with two wins from two while defending champions Paris St Germain are yet to start their campaign after losing the Champions League final to Bayern Munich last weekend.
Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru and Nick Said in Cape Town; Editing by Ian Chadband and Paul Simao
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