Njie and Payet come off the bench to score as Marseille wins
PARIS (AP) Clinton Njie and Dimitri Payet came off the bench to settle a scrappy match as Marseille beat Strasbourg 2-0 in the French league on Tuesday.
After Marseille striker Valere Germain missed a second-half penalty, Njie broke Strasbourg’s resistance with a sharp finish in the 79th minute.
Then, Njie’s smart flick sent Payet clean through in the 87th – and the France international dummied goalkeeper Alexandre Oukidja with a quick step-over move, before rounding him and tapping into the empty net.
Payet is getting back to top form, which is good timing for Marseille.
The win moved his side two points above Monaco and up to second, ahead of Monaco’s home game later Tuesday against local rival Nice.
Strasbourg, the only side to beat league leader Paris Saint-Germain, has exceeded most expectations after gaining promotion.
Marseille can testify to that. They drew 3-3 in the corresponding fixture at Strasbourg in a thrilling encounter, although this one was anything but entertaining as Strasbourg nullified Marseille’s attacking threat for most of the game.
Payet came on early in the second half and won a penalty, taking a quick pass from winger Florian Thauvin and getting bundled over as he broke into the box from the right in the 72nd.
Thauvin missed a penalty last Saturday and left this one to Germain. He looked nervous and as his effort was telegraphed, with Oukidja pouncing to his left to palm it away.
He made amends by helping to set up the opening goal.
After Strasbourg carelessly lost the ball in midfield, Thauvin made a quick burst down the right and his cross found Germain. His parried shot rolled across the penalty area to Njie, who reacted swiftly to swipe it home.
PSG is at home to Dijon on Wednesday, with top scorer Edinson Cavani needing one goal to move level with Zlatan Ibrahimovic as the club’s all-time leading scorer with 156.
BAYSSE COSTS BORDEAUX
Bordeaux center half Paul Baysse lost his composure and his side lost 2-0 at home to Caen.
Both goals came after Baysse – recently signed to shore up a poor defense – was sent off in the 86th minute for elbowing Ivan Santini. The referee awarded a penalty and Baysse got a red card.
Santini, however, escaped sanction despite first slapping Baysse – and then the Croatian striker converted the penalty.
His strike partner Ronny Rodelin sealed the win in the fourth minute of injury time.
Caen is ninth and Bordeaux 13th ahead of Wednesday’s games.