16.08.2015 16:38 h

Traore on target as Reims bury Marseille

A first-half Hamari Traore goal handed Reims back-to-back wins in a 1-0 victory which condemned struggling Marseille to their second consecutive defeat of the Ligue 1 campaign on Sunday.

Marseille, still reeling from the shock resignation of coach Marcelo Bielsa following their opening 1-0 defeat to Caen, failed to threaten the Champagne side who won their opening two matches of the season for the first time since returning to the elite four years ago.

Reims provisionally take top spot equal on six points with Caen, 1-0 winners on Saturday against Toulouse, and ahead of Sunday's later games when champions Paris Saint-Germain are at home to newly-promoted Corsican minnows Gazelec Ajaccio.

Marseille, by contrast, are in the relegation zone along with Guingamp and Montpellier, the two other teams still without a point after two games.

Bielsa's assistant Franck Passi was in charge of the visitors but passive and slow Marseille's forward line of Michy Batshuayi, Florian Thauvin, Romain Alessandrini and Lucas Ocampos rarely threatened Reims goalkeeper Kossi Agassa.

Although Marseille had looked dangerous early on with winger Alessandrini firing over on 12 minutes, it was Reims who opened the scoring from their first chance two minutes later, Traore volleying low into the net after Benjamin Mendy had headed away a corner.

Shaken Marseille paid for their lack of precision and rarely threatened Agassa, while by contrast Reims could have added to their tally but for some fine goalkeeping by OM captain Steve Mandanda.

Mandanda, who was making his 300th Ligue 1 appearance, did well to keep out another Traore effort on 29 minutes and David N'Gog's shot on 61.

Marseille will be desperate for a win next Sunday at home against newly-promoted Troyes, who came from behind to claim their second consecutive draw with a 3-3 stalemate at home against Nice on Saturday.