Gomis scores hat trick as Marseille beat Montpellier 5-1
PARIS: Striker Bafetimbi Gomis scored a hat trick as Marseille bounced back from two heavy defeats to thrash Montpellier 5-1 in the French league on Friday.
Veteran left back Patrice Evra made his Marseille debut after joining this week from Juventus, and received a good ovation at Stade Velodrome when he was substituted with 20 minutes left. But it was his former France teammate who stole the headlines.
"It's a great night," Gomis said on Canal Plus television. "My only other hat trick was here as well, when I played for Lyon."
Gomis took his league tally to 13 goals — just three short of his season's best tally — and he was ably assisted by winger Remy Cabella, who tormented his former team with his quick feet and set up the first two goals.
The first came in the fourth minute when Cabella headed the ball into the path of Gomis following a long kick from goalkeeper Yohann Pele, and Gomis powerfully shrugged off a challenge from defender William Remy before rifling a shot home.
Cabella reacted sharply on the second goal in the 19th, heading a first-time pass from the left of the penalty area toward Gomis, who thumped the ball past Montpellier goalkeeper Laurent Pionnier from close range.
Portuguese defender Jorge Rolando headed in the third late in the first half.
Montpellier pulled a goal back at the start of the second when midfielder Ryad Boudebouz expertly curled in a free kick.
But Marseille had the last word, with Gomis slamming the ball into the roof of the net in the 77th after being set up by winger Florian Thauvin, who then added a late penalty.
The win moved Marseille up to fifth place ahead of this weekend's games and was a welcome boost following a 4-1 home loss to Monaco and a 3-1 away defeat at Lyon.
On Sunday, league leader Monaco travels to play defending champion Paris Saint-Germain — which is in third place — and second-place Nice hosts Guingamp.