PARIS (AP) — Newcomer Cedric Bakambu scored on his debut just two minutes after coming on as Marseille won 2-0 at Lens on Saturday to climb to second place in the French league.
Given Arkadiusz Milik’s lack of fitness, Marseille signed Bakambu during the winter transfer window with the aim of adding attacking power to the team led by Argentine Jorge Sampaoli.
The draft had immediate effects.
Bakambu, who scored 48 goals in 71 appearances for Chinese Super League side Beijing Guoan before his return to France, made it 2-0 in the 76th minute.
Dimitri Payet had given the visitors the lead in the first half, converting a penalty.
Bakambu, who came to play for Sochaux in France, replaced Brazilian Luis Henrique in the 74th minute. After playing a wall with Matteo Guendouzi, he was perfectly supplied in the left alley of the area, to define left-footed, with little shooting angle.
Guendouzi was also involved in the first target. The midfielder received a push from Argentina’s Facundo Medina, after Cengiz Ünder escaped down the left wing and crossed into the box.
Referee Stephanie Frappart pointed to the penalty spot and Payet, who set up the play with a great pass to Ünder, showed composure to fool Venezuelan goalkeeper Wuilker Faríñez.
The team from Marseille achieved their fifth victory in a row on a foreign court.
Marseille moved a point ahead of Nice, which visits Metz on Sunday. PSG have a 10-point lead at the top heading into their home game against Reims.
BREST SORPENDS IN LILLE
Brest returned to winning ways, handing Lille 2-0, ending the defending champions’ nine-match unbeaten run.
The hosts took the lead after 3 minutes with a Tiago Djalo own goal and then withstood pressure from Lille for the rest of the match. Steve Mounié sealed the victory with a penalty in stoppage time.
Lille remains in eighth place, 18 points behind leader Paris Saint-Germain. Brest moved up to 12th place four points behind Lille.
Djalo beat his own fence when he tried to clear a cross from Ronaël Pierre-Gabriel. But the Portuguese defender lost his balance and sent the ball into the top corner.
American Timothy Weah, recovered from a quad injury, created a good chance for Lille with a cross back for Canadian Jonathan David, but goalkeeper Marco Bizot made a great save.
Lille dominated and pressed until the end.
A clumsy infringement by Zeki Celik on Franck Honorat earned Brest a penalty converted by Mounié.