Olympique Marseille suffered a massive blow in its chase for a Champions League place, losing at Bordeaux by a 2-0 score thanks to goals by Francois Kamano and Nicolas de Preville.
Bordeaux has been a house of horrors for Marseille, and Friday’s result did nothing to change that sentiment. Marseille, having not won at Bordeaux in 42 years, suffered a blow to its Champions League hopes with the defeat as the visitors remained a point back of fourth-placed St. Etienne who now has two games in hand.
A hand-ball by Nemanja Radonjic in the 27th minute put Bordeaux at the penalty spot, and Kamano converted the spot-kick with a stutter step that sent Steve Mandanda the wrong way, easily burying the ball after the goalkeeper found the turf. The second came with 20 minutes to go as de Preville took a Marseille turnover just past midfield and burst forward all by himself, splitting two defenders in the box before slotting home.
Bordeaux defender Pablo was sent off with eight minutes to go for barging into Mario Balotelli off the ball, but Marseille had no response. Ultimately, while Marseille finished with 65% possession and 20 total shots, they put just five of those efforts on target. Meanwhile, Bordeaux miraculously put all seven of its shots on target, sealing the win.
The defeat secures Marseille’s embarrassing and lightning-quick collapse. The club rose from seventh to fourth in just a month, finding themselves in a Champions League place by mid-march thanks to a five-match unbeaten run that included four wins, highlighted by a defeat of St. Etienne. They immediately slumped, winless in the next three matches with two defeats in that span, falling out of the Champions League race as quickly as they’d risen into it.
Bordeaux’s streak of dominance at home over Marseille is something to behold. In those 42 years, they’ve gone 34 matches unbeaten, with 21 wins and 13 draws. It is the longest such streak in French top flight history. In addition, Bordeaux’s opener was the ninth penalty goal conceded by Marseille this league season, the most by any Top 5 team in Europe this season.
This will undoubtedly be the unsavory side of the Emiliano Sala tragedy, but we all knew it was coming one day soon.
[ WATCH: Cardiff City salutes Sala after opening penalty kick goal ]
The BBC is reporting that Ligue 1 side Nantes are demanding the first of three identical payments — each expected to be roughly $6.5 million — from Cardiff City “within 10 days,” otherwise they will take legal action against the Premier League side.
The report also cites a source at Cardiff as saying the club intends to honor the transfer agreement, which is set to be for a club-record $19.5 million, once they have “all the facts.”
Cardiff are reportedly “surprised” that Nantes have made such demands while attempts to recover the bodies of Sala and pilot David Ibbotson are still ongoing. The Air Accident Investigation Bureau said on Monday that “one occupant is visible amidst the wreckage” at the bottom of the ocean just off the Channel Islands.
[ MORE: Cardiff wins in first home match since Sala’s disappearance (video) ]
Bordeaux are also due a cut — reportedly 50 percent — of the transfer fee as part of the agreement to transfer Sala to their French counterparts in the summer of 2015. Nantes paid an initial fee of just over $1 million.
According to a report by Sky Sports, Thierry Henry has been offered the Bordeaux managerial position.
Henry left his Sky Sports punditry job this summer to concentrate on his coaching career, and has been a top assistant to Roberto Martinez with Belgium over the last two years, including this summer at the World Cup where Belgium finished in third place.
The Bordeaux position is theoretically open after the club suspended manager Gus Poyet who publicly criticized the front office for selling striker Gaetan Laborde to fellow Ligue 1 side Montpellier without his knowledge.
Henry, a French international with 51 goals in 123 caps for his home nation.
“It would be very good for Bordeaux,” current Nice manager Patrick Viera told Sky Sports. Viera was a former teammate of Henry’s on the French national team. “It would be very good for him. It would be very good for Ligue 1 because of his notoriety. I know he’s someone who really wants to be a coach and he has the means to succeed. He has had a lot of experiences. I think it would be a great thing for football because he has a lot to contribute and a lot to give.”
Henry reportedly was offered a U-18 coaching position at Arsenal last summer, but Arsene Wenger is said to have overruled that decision due to Henry’s part-time duties as a television pundit, wanting the former international to focus on the position full-time. The 41-year-old was also linked heavily to the Aston Villa job this summer, but the club decided to stick with Steve Bruce.
Thierry Henry versus Patrick Vieira has the connotations of an Arsenal reunion match or Hudson River Derby fight, but the pair of French superstars may be matching tactical wits in Ligue 1 soon.
Sky Sports says that former New York Red Bulls star and Arsenal legend Henry has opened talks with Bordeaux about their manager’s spot.
[ WATCH: Lichaj assists for Hull ]
Vieira was hired away from New York City FC by OGC Nice earlier this summer, whileHenry was assisting Roberto Martinez in leading Belgium to a third place finish at the World Cup.
Bordeaux is 0-2 after two matches of the Ligue 1 season, while Nice is 0-1-1.
For those wondering, the two sides meet on Oct. 27 at the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux.
Which manager do you back for more success in the short- and long-term?
You can add another name to the long list of Americans who are involved in European soccer.
The ownership group of FC Girondins de Bordeaux, or simply Bordeaux, announced today that it was selling 100 percent of the club to American investment firm General American Capital Partners, lead by Yonkers, N.Y. native Joseph DaGrosa. RMC Sport in France reports that GACP purchased the club for just $81.6 million.
[READ: Friday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup]
The outgoing ownership group – M6 – now receives that sum of money as well as the nearly $48 million the club made from selling star winger Malcolm to Barcelona earlier this week.
In a statement, M6 said in order for Bordeaux to keep up with the growing wage bills across Ligue 1, it had to sell.
The M6 Group considers that the sale of FC Girondins de Bordeaux to GACP, which proposes an ambitious sports project and a long-term investment strategy, would constitute the best option to maintain the club’s position and ultimately improve its results.
It appears to be the first time DaGrosa has gotten into professional sports. As the European game becomes more global in search of greater revenues and teams look to tap into the American market, you can expect to see more Bordeaux presence in the future in the U.S.
It remains to be seen though how much DaGrosa’s group will pour into the club to get it back into the UEFA Champions League.