DR Congo’s Mbemba in Ligue 1 winning debut for Marseille as Nigerianforward Simon fires blanks for Nantes

Chancel MbembaGetty

Democratic Republic of Congo internationals Chancel Mbemba and Cedric Bakambu were involved as Marseille opened their Ligue 1 campaign with a 4-1 victory over Stade Reims at Stade Velodrome on Sunday.

On a day when debutants impressed, Mbemba completed 90 minutes on his debut as he played at the heart of a three-man defence while Bakambu came on with 13 minutes remaining when Marseille were leading 3-0.

After Wout Faes scored in his own net to give last season’s runners-up a 13-minute lead, debutants Nuno Tavares and Luis Suarez scored one and two goals, respectively, for Marseille with Florian Balogun netting the consolation for the visitors.

Elsewhere, Nigerian forward Moses Simon played all 90 minutes as Nantes drew 0-0 away to Angers. Simon, who managed six goals and eight assists last season, could only muster one shot while he lost possession 13 times to start the season on the wrong footing.

In the early kick-off, Algerian international Bilal Brahimi set up Aaron Ramsey as the Welshman began life in Ligue 1 with a goal with Nice coming from behind to draw 1-1 at newly-promoted Toulouse.

After Nice had been outdone for most of the game, the injection of quality needed eventually came from the bench, as Brahimi made a superb burst forward before teeing up Ramsey, who struck clinically within a minute of being introduced to the action.

At the Stade Bollaert-Delelis, Ivorian Seko Fofana nearly played a hand in two as Lens beat Brest 3-2 in an entertaining encounter.

Florian Sotoca opened the scoring in the 27th minute before Lens got a chance to extend their lead from the spot after Franck Honorat shoved over Fofana in the box, but the experienced forward hit a lacklustre penalty which was saved by the goalkeeper.

However, the French forward added two further goals to give Lens a 3-0 lead after 65 minutes and the third was created by Fofana who lofted in a long ball that the striker lifted over the goalkeeper to score.

Meanwhile, Algerian defender Akim Zedadka completed the rout as Lille thrashed newly-promoted Auxerre 4-1 to begin their Ligue 1 campaign in style.

Jonathan David created Lille’s opener, scored by Benjamin Andre, before scoring a brace of his own as the 2020-21 champions raced to a 3-0 half-time lead before Zedadka volleyed in Jonathan Bamba’s lofted cross to cap a rapid counter-attack in the 64th minute.

At Stade de la Mosson, Guinea-Bissau forward Mama Balde was on target for Troyes but it was not enough as they lost 3-2 to Montpellier.

After conceding in the third minute, Troyes responded via a penalty in the 12th minute but their lead lasted just three minutes when the home side went ahead. Balde restored parity two minutes later with an inch-perfect volley.

Montpellier had the last laugh when Teji Savanier scored in the 81st minute to hand them all the points.

Ligue 1 wrap

Which African star impressed you the most in Ligue 1 on Sunday?