AAP Soccer

Double for Payet in Marseille’s romp

By AAP Newswire

Marseille has crushed Toulouse 4-0 as the French Ligue 1 season opened with a video assistant refereeing decision leading to the first goal.

Attacking midfielder Dimitri Payet scored in each half, with his penalty on the stroke of halftime awarded after a video review.

Striker Valere Germain added a third goal, while winger Florian Thauvin struck two minutes into injury time.

Alerted by VAR officials that defender Kelvin Amian had blocked a cross with his hand, referee Ruddy Buquet checked the images and pointed to the spot after initially signalling a corner.

Payet, who missed France's World Cup title victory last month after being injured in the Europa League final, sent goalkeeper Baptiste Reynet the wrong way.

He netted again in the 62nd minute with a neat volley after Reynet had blocked Bouna Sarr's angled shot.

"The end of last season was quite hard for me ... so I just want to enjoy myself and start the season well," Payet said.

He received a standing ovation from the Stade Velodrome crowd when he was replaced by Thauvin - a member of France's World Cup squad - in the 82nd minute.

Germain then expertly controlled midfielder Morgan Sanson's pass and curled the ball past Reynet in the 89th minute before Thauvin skillfully flicked the ball up with his heel and slotted in from close range to complete the rout.

Marseille finished fourth last season and missed out on a Champions League playoff spot by one point.