Marseille and Lyon match marred by hooliganism

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Marseille and Lyon are two of the biggest rivals in French football, but things were taken too far when the sides met today in Ligue 1 action.

The match, which was played in Marseille, was stopped in the second half with Lyon leading 1-0. Referee Ruddy Buquet ordered both teams to head to the dressing rooms as supporters pelted Lyon players with bottles and other objects.

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Play resumed after a a 23-minute stoppage, with riot police lining the sides of the pitch. It would end in a 1-1 draw.

Lyon’s Mathieu Valbuena was the main target of the abuse, as he made his first trip to the Stade Velodrome as a visitor. Valbuena spent eight seasons with Marseille and made more than 300 appearances for the club before leaving for Russian side Dynamo Moscow in 2014. He was widely regarded as a Marseille legend when he left, and had his number 28 jersey retired.

However, after a short stint in Russia, Valbuena returned to France and joined Marseille’s rival Lyon, which has made him an enemy at his old club.

Fans were also seen burning Valbuena’s Marseille jersey outside of the stadium before the match. However, it wasn’t just the fans who targeted Valbuena, as Romain Alessandrini was shown a straight red card for this vicious tackle.

The French Federation will likely hand down some punishment to Marseille, who were already sanctioned for crowd violence last season.