Fabregas off the mark for Monaco, more misery for Marseille

PARIS (AFP) – Cesc Fabregas scored his first goal since joining Monaco from Chelsea on Saturday night and it proved a crucial one as it earned his troubled new employers a precious 2-1 win over Toulouse.

The Spain international was signed by Thierry Henry in mid-January only for his former Arsenal teammate to be axed as Monaco boss days later.

Back came Leonardo Jardim, three months after his own sacking, and the Portuguese manager was rewarded with Monaco’s first home win of the season.

The ailing 2017 champions went into an early lead when Gelson Martins, on loan from Atletico Madrid, provided Russia international Aleksandr Golovin with the assist to score on a counter attack.

Christopher Jullien headed Toulouse back level just four minutes later but Martins once again proved his worth by setting up Fabregas for the 62nd minute winner.

Cesc Fabregas celebrates after scoring his goal. – AFP

This fourth win of a harrowing campaign lifted Monaco up a place to third from bottom on 18 points.

“Everyone knows about the past, it’s tough not to have won at home up to now,” said Jardim.

“That’s why the players are happy, it’s they who have displayed their skill.”

Later on Saturday, Mario Balotelli started for Marseille for the first time since joining from Nice but the Italy striker’s presence could not prevent Rudi Garcia’s side suffering a 2-1 loss at promoted Reims.

Goals from Tristan Dingome and South Korean Suk Hyun-Jun – who scored seconds after coming on as a substitute – had the hosts firmly in command.