Marseille kicks off league with victory

Marseille kicks off league with victory

PARIS - The Associated Press
Midfielder Benoit Cheyrou scored with a sweetly-struck volley as Marseille earned a hard-fought 1-0 win at newly-promoted Reims on Aug. 12.

Reims, a two-time European Cup runner-up to Real Madrid in 1956 and ’59 during its heyday, had the better of the chances until Marseille started to get on top in the last 20 minutes.

Reims goalkeeper Kossi Agassa was well beaten in the 77th minute when midfielder Charles Kabore curled over a floating cross from the right and Cheyrou sprinted onto it and volleyed the ball firmly across Agassa and into the bottom right corner.

“It’s a long time since we started the season with a win, we all stuck together and this will be good for our confidence,” Cheyrou said. “There’s a lot more to come from the team.”

In the Ligue 1 matches on Aug. 11, Paris Saint-Germain needed two goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic to rally from 2-0 down and draw 2-2 at home to Lorient. Defending champion Montpellier drew 1-1 at home to Toulouse on Aug. 10.

Marseille looked tired at times, playing just three days after facing Turkish side Eskişehirspor in the Europa League playoffs.

“It was an open match,” Marseille coach Elie Baup said. “Both goalies played well, although we could have finished better at times. We still have a lot of things to work on.”