Manic Marseille can outshine Messi’s PSG as Payet and Guendouzi show fiery side

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Lionel Messi joining French giants PSG means neutral fans now have an extra reason to watch Ligue 1.

But if the first few games of the season are anything to go by, Marseille are the team you should be keeping an eye on in the French top flight this term.

It has been a whirlwind start to the 2021/22 campaign for Les Olympiens with crowd trouble in two of their league fixtures so far.

Sunday evening's clash with Nice ended in controversial fashion, as a missile was thrown at Dimitri Payet and home supporters stormed the pitch, clashing with players.

An ugly brawl ensued, and the game was suspended in the 75th minute with Marseille trailing 1-0.

"What happened today is completely unacceptable, we must set a precedent for French football," Marseille president Pablo Longoria told the media after the game.

But Marseille's crazy start to the season appears to have already set the tone for how their campaign will unfold.

Fiery, fierce and fascinating to watch.

Last night's clash wasn't the only time Marseille have encountered crowd trouble in recent weeks.

Jorge Sampaoli's side came from two goals down against Montpellier in the first game of the season before the game was temporarily halted as fans threw projectiles onto the pitch.

Midfielder Valentin Rongier couldn't continue for Marseille after suffering a cut to the face during the incident.

And ex-Arsenal hothead Matteo Guendouzi was also involved in the scuffles, as he ventured towards the hostile crowd to throw items back into the stands.

The young midfielder isn't one to shy away from confrontation, which means it was no surprise to see him share pictures of 'strangle marks' around his neck following the pitch invasion against Nice at the weekend.

Payet also threw missiles back into the crowd on Sunday evening after he was struck on the back while going to take a corner.

That sort of fiery behaviour is likely to be condoned by boss Sampaoli, who is also known to blow his lid from time to time.

The 61-year-old had to be held back by members of his staff to prevent him from fighting Nice fans last night.

Over the summer, the ex-Argentina boss was also involved in a huge touchline spat with Villarreal manager Unai Emery in a pre-season friendly, which almost ended in a brawl between the two coaches.

But Sampaoli could channel that energy and fight PSG for the French title this season.

Marseille spent big in the summer, signing the likes of Cengiz Under, Gerson, Pau Lopez and William Saliba.

Guendouzi is also set to play a huge role in the side after his arrival from England, and Payet is being backed to continue his good form so far this season.

Whether they go close for the title remains to be seen – but Marseille will definitely entertain us along the way.

  • PSG FC
  • Marseille FC
  • Lionel Messi
  • Ligue 1
  • Arsene Wenger
  • Unai Emery
  • Missiles

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