PARIS, August 9- Marcelo Bielsa stunned French football on Saturday when he quit as coach of Marseille just minutes after his team had lost their season opener 1-0 at home to Caen.
“I have resigned from my post as manager of Marseille,” the Argentine announced at the end of his post-match news conference.
Bielsa, 60, has been linked to the Mexico national team manager’s role in recent weeks, and Marseille looked every inch a side affected by the off-field uncertainty surrounding his future.
Immediately after their lacklustre defeat, Bielsa, who had only been in charge at the Stade Velodrome since May 2014, announced his resignation.
“I have finished my work here, I will return to my country,” said Bielsa, who guided the former European champions to fourth place in Ligue 1 last season.
“I thank the fans for always being behind me during games and on a daily basis.
“I am sad and frustrated. I cannot accept the situation of instability at the club,” added Bielsa, who accused the club of changing the details of a contract he was ready to sign to commit himself to the team until 2017.
Marseille got off to a flying start last season — winning eight of their opening ten matches — before fading to fourth, 14 points adrift of champions PSG.
But they were off the pace on Saturday night in front of their home supporters and couldn’t respond to a disciplined and measured Caen performance.
The only goal of the game arrived in the 27th minute and in spectacular fashion as Andy Delort fired a right-footed piledriver beyond hapless home ‘keeper Steve Mandanda.
“We had a dozen scoring opportunities. With so many opportunities we must win. There are no excuses for this defeat,” added Bielsa before he dropped his resignation bombshell.
– Instinctive finish –
“In the first half we had problems. The second period was satisfactory, we could have won.”
Elsewhere, Leonardo Jardim’s Monaco came from a goal down to win at Nice.
The hosts struck early on thanks to a brilliant instinctive finish by Valere Germain, who is on loan from his parent club of Monaco.
But Monaco, who struck four past Swiss side Young Boys in midweek to progress to the Champions League play-off round where they’ll face Spanish side Valencia, responded after the interval.
Bernardo Silva, who came on for the injured Mario Pasalic in the first half, equalised after 51 minutes after good work by Anthony Martial.
And Monaco — who finished third last season — got the winner 11 minutes later through French international full-back Layvin Kurzawa as their campaign began with a 2-1 victory.
Promoted Angers began life at the top table with a terrific 2-0 win at 2012 champions Montpellier.
Stephane Moulin’s men, who finished third in Ligue 2 last season to win promotion to the top flight after a 21-year absence, silenced the Stade de la Mosson after five minutes via Abdoul Razzagui Camara’s strike.
And Angers doubled their advantage after 79 minutes thanks to a deflected shot from Gilles Sunu, which was enough to seal the three points.
There was late drama in Nantes as the hosts won a tense and cagey encounter against 2014 French Cup winners Guingamp thanks to a late own goal from Jeremy Sorbon.
Johan Audel was released down the left flank and fired in a cross which Sorbon turned into his own net to break Guingamp hearts in a 1-0 defeat.
Bastia came back from a half-time deficit to beat visitors Rennes 2-1 at the Stade Armand Cesari.
The Brittany club took the lead via Giovanni Sio’s well taken goal at the end of a flowing move involving Ludovic Baal.
But that was as good as it got for Rennes who succumbed to a powerful second-half performance from the hosts, who deservedly levelled through a wonderful goal from Floyd Ayite.
Sadio Diallo lifted a perfect ball towards Ayite who thundered home on the volley into the roof of the net.
Bastia continued in the ascendancy and got the winner after 69 minutes through Francois Kamano which ignited the Stade Armand Cesari.
Elsewhere, Gazelec Ajaccio missed a penalty as they were denied victory at fellow promoted club Troyes in the first ever top-flight.
The visitors, who finished second in Ligue 2 last season 13 points adrift of champions Troyes, should’ve taken the lead just before half-time but Mohamed Larbi blazed a poor penalty over the bar.
On Friday, champions PSG won at Lille in their opening game despite playing 62 minutes with ten men after Adrien Rabiot’s dismissal.
Lucas Moura hit a 57th-minute winner for Laurent Blanc’s men.