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Marseille squeeze past Reims in Ligue 1 opener

Marseille forward Vitinha (centre) celebrates after scoring against Reims. Photo: Christophe Simon/AFP

Portuguese striker Vitinha struck the winner as Marseille came from behind to beat Reims 2-1 on Saturday in their opening game of the Ligue 1 season.

Japan international Junya Ito volleyed Reims ahead early at the Velodrome but Morocco midfielder Azzedine Ounahi curled in a brilliant equaliser from 25 yards.

Ito had the ball in the net again before half-time but saw his effort ruled out after replays showed the ball went out of play in the build-up.

Vitinha, who signed from Braga in January, scrambled home with just over 15 minutes left as Marseille bounced back from their midweek defeat in the Champions League.

Marseille lost 1-0 away to Greek side Panathinaikos in new coach Marcelino’s first game and must overturn that deficit on Tuesday in order to stay in the hunt for a place in the group stage.

Paris Saint-Germain kick off their title defence under new coach Luis Enrique later on Saturday when Lorient visit the Parc des Princes.

Kylian Mbappe has been left out of the squad amid an ongoing contract dispute between the France captain and the Ligue 1 champions, while Neymar is also missing because of illness.

It will also be PSG’s first competitive match since the departure of Lionel Messi to Inter Miami.

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