Nigerian forward Josh Maja scored a hat trick as Bordeaux routed Nimes 6-0 Tuesday in a French league game that was temporarily halted in the first half after dozens of home fans stormed onto the field to protest against the club’s board.
Bordeaux’s group of hardcore fans Ultramarines came down from the stands 11 minutes into the game and staged a protest on the sideline, causing referee Clement Turpin to stop the game and send both teams back into the dressing room.
The game resumed after about 25 minutes and the 20-year-old Maja put the hosts 2-0 up by halftime and completed his hat trick in the 53rd minute. He then set up Nicolas de Preville for Bordeaux’s fourth goal and Otavio, who had never scored in the French league, also netted two goals to finish off the rout.
Bordeaux is third in the league standings but the club’s angry fans are asking for the club’s longtime president Frederic Longuepee to step down.
The Ultramarines group says Longuepee is prioritizing commercial interests over fans. Longuepee said after the match he has no intention to step down.
The protests came amid a period of uncertainty at Bordeaux, with the club’s two main shareholders currently planning to part ways.
FIVE IN A ROW
Dimitri Payet set up Marseille’s opening goal then scored from the penalty spot as the nine-time champion posted a fifth consecutive league win by beating Angers 2-0.
After a tough start to the match at Angers, Marseille scored against the run of the play when Payet caught the hosts off guard on a set piece in the 17th minute. With Angers defenders looking elsewhere, Payet quickly played a free kick to set up the unmarked Morgan Sanson, who coolly beat goalkeeper Ludovic Butelle with a low shot from a tight angle.
Payet made it 2-0 from the spot before the interval by sending Butelle the wrong way after Romain Thomas fouled Hiroki Sakai in the box.
The result lifted Marseille within two points of league leader Paris Saint-Germain, which has two games in hand and hosts Nantes on Wednesday.
After failing to qualify for the Champions League last season, Marseille has found a renewed confidence under new coach Andre Villas-Boas, making it five league victories in a row for the first time since October 2014.
BATTOCHIO HAT TRICK
Midfielder Cristian Battocchio scored a hat trick in the space of 30 minutes as Brest routed Strasbourg 5-0 for its biggest win this season.
Battocchio, an Argentine-born Italian midfielder, made the most of a rare start to open his scoring account in the French league.
A former Under-21s Italy international, Battocchio returned to Brest at the start of 2019 after a spell at Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Jonathan Ikone scored the winner as Lille secured its first away win of the season by beating Lyon 1-0 in a scrappy game.
Lyon slumped to a third home defeat after missing seven attempts on goal after the interval. Already lagging 11 points behind PSG after 16 rounds, Rudi Garcia’s players were whistled off the pitch by their fans.
In contrast, Lille scored from its only shot in the second half and moved into fourth place.