PARIS (AP)Marseille coach Igor Tudor silenced his critics as his team beat Reims 4-1 in the French league on Sunday.
Tudor was booed by fans when the stadium announcer read out his name. Tudor has big shoes to fill after replacing Argentine coach Jorge Sampaoli, who left Marseille this summer reportedly because of a disagreement with the club’s recruitment strategy.
The hosts took the lead in the 13th minute when Reims defender Wout Faes turned a cross from new signing Jonathan Clauss into his own net.
Marseille relied on its wing backs, Clauss and Nuno Tavares, to put pressure on the Reims defense.
”The pace of the game was very high,” Clauss told Amazon Prime video. ”At times we wanted to slow down but the coach was urging us to push even more . He’s always on our backs in training. We work a lot.”
Tavares doubled the lead on the stroke of halftime by cutting inside to fire into the far corner. On loan from Arsenal, Tavares also created chances for Cengiz Under in the 17th and substitute Luis Suarez in the 65th.
Suarez, who moved from Granada this summer, rounded off the scoring with goals in the 75th and in injury time.
Reims substitute Folarin Balogun scored a consolation goal in the 84th.
Losses to Middlesbrough, Norwich and AC Milan in summer friendlies initially cast doubt on the wisdom of Tudor’s appointment. The charismatic Sampaoli had led Marseille to a second-place finish last season.
Elsewhere, Wales international Aaron Ramsey came off the bench to score the equalizer for Nice in a 1-1 draw with promoted Toulouse.
Signed on a free transfer from Juventus in the offseason, Ramsey replaced Calvin Stengs in the 76th and made an instant impact for his new club by pouncing on a pass from Billal Brahimi to score with a first-time effort in the 78th.
”I didn’t expect it to be this hot,” Ramsey told Amazon Prime video after the game. ”I’m excited to play in this league. As you can see today, it was very technical, athletic, very fast. So I’m happy to be here and hopefully I can play my part this season.”
Ramsey is the first Welshman to play in the French league since Brynley Griffith in 1959 according to the Ligue 1 official website.
A contender for European spots, Nice finished fifth last season.
In his French league debut, Thijs Dallinga opened the scoring by flicking home a cross from Toulouse captain Branco Van den Boomen in the 20th.
Toulouse signed Dallinga for a reported fee of 2.5 million euros ($2.55 million) this summer. Last season, the Dutch striker scored 36 goals to help second-division Excelsior Rotterdam gain promotion.
Lorient stunned Rennes 1-0 with an own-goal from Belgian defender Arthur Theate.
Rennes paid the price for starting the season with a new center back pairing as Morocco defender Nayef Aguerd went to West Ham while Warmed Omari is sidelined until September after undergoing groin surgery.
New signings Theate and Joe Rodon made their French league debut in the heart of the Rennes defense. Theate diverted a cross from Lorient fullback Gedeon Kalulu into his own net in the 65th. He then picked up a yellow card for a cynical foul in the 87th.
Florian Sotoca led Lens to a 3-2 win over Brest by notching a hat trick with a low strike in the 27th, a header off a corner in the 62nd and a lob in the 65th. The Lens forward also missed a penalty in the 33rd.
Jonathan David scored twice and added an assist as Lille routed promoted Auxerre 4-1. The Canada striker set up Benjamin Andre for the opening goal in the first minute, then netted with a curling shot in the third and a low strike in the 39th to make it 3-0.
Lille won the league in 2021 but finished midtable last season.
Teji Savanier helped Montpellier edge Troyes 3-2 by guiding the ball into the top corner from the edge of the box in the 81st.
Nantes kept a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw with Angers a week after an embarrassing 4-0 loss to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions Trophy, the traditional curtain-raiser between the French league champion and the French Cup winner.
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