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Monday, January 30, 2023
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Monday, January 30, 2023
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    Marseille pay tribute to Pelé before 6-1 win, Lens held 0-0

    PARIS (AP) – Marseille paid tribute to Brazilian football great Pelé before routing Toulouse 6-1 to rise to third place on Thursday, while Lens failed to keep pace with league leader Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) after drawing 0-0 at Nice.

    The draw left second-place Lens seven points behind PSG, which won on Wednesday to remain unbeaten.

    Midfielder Salis Abdul Samed went close for Lens, which hosts PSG tomorrow, after a brilliant turn and mazy run, only to be foiled by veteran goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel in the 31st minute.

    Marseille’s home win moved it four points behind Lens but two ahead of Rennes in third, which earns a place in the Champions League qualifying rounds. Rennes lost 3-1 at Reims.

    Marseille fans observed a moment’s applause for Pelé, who died on Thursday. He was 82. The three-time World Cup winner’s face was shown on a giant screen at Stade Velodrome.

    Marseille midfielder Dimitri Payet had tears in his eyes as he joined in the applause, before Marseille’s crowd chanted “Pelé, Pelé, Pelé,” several times.

    Marseille’s French forward Salim Ben Seghir runs with the ball. PHOTO: AFP

    It was Marseille’s best attacking performance under coach Igor Tudor. He seems to have figured out how best to use the former France playmaker Payet, whose vision and passing illuminated the game.

    Central defender Samuel Gigot broke down the right to set up midfielder Valentin Rongier from close range in the 13th minute, and Marseille doubled its lead in the 41st when Toulouse defender Rasmus Nicolaisen lobbed his own goalkeeper with a botched header.

    Left back Sead Kolasinac made it 3-0 in the 52nd when he controlled the ball with an improvised backheel and then turned past a defender to shoot home.

    Ten minutes later, Payet superbly curled in the fourth goal from just inside the area before Dutch midfielder Branco van den Boomen reduced the deficit soon after with a penalty.

    Turkey winger Cengiz Ünder scored from the spot in the 80th for Marseille’s fifth before left back Nuno Tavarez grabbed a fine sixth moments later, chesting down a cross from right back Jonathan Clauss and firing the ball in under the crossbar.

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