Unbeaten Marseille proving money isn't everything
Coach Elie Baup is delighted that modest Marseille is proving to big-spending Paris Saint-Germain that money isn't everything in football.
PSG spent over ?150million in the summer on new players while Marseille was forced to sell key players to trim its payroll, rather than recruit superstars.
However, Marseille tops the Ligue 1 table after a perfect start and is looking for a sixth straight victory against Evian on Sunday.
''We're not in the same economical fight. That's evident for everyone,'' Baup said. ''But if that can encourage investors to come into other French clubs, why not. PSG is a club that is far ahead on an economical basis, but it's not a given that it will be so on a sporting one. We saw that last year with Montpellier.
''Logic says that economically and in a sporting sense, PSG should be ahead, but in football there can be surprises in the group dynamic and the game. That's what we have to stick to, to continue on our path and not make calculations looking at others.''
PSG has improved after a dismal start to the season, which saw it pick up just three points from three games, and heads to Bastia in search of a third straight Ligue 1 victory.
It will also be boosted by Tuesday's 4-1 win over Dynamo Kiev in its Champions League opener as it looks like its expensive collection of talents is finally beginning to gel as a team.
''It's not a signal, it was only a match,'' goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu said. ''What's important for us is to focus on our job. What others think isn't important at the moment. This is the result of our work. We never lost our heads, we always remained focused even when things weren't working so well. We remained calm and looked for solutions.
''We have to continue on this path.''
Meanwhile, Montpellier remains upbeat despite picking up just four points in their opening five games. The defending champion has already lost three league games this season and trails Marseille by 11 points.
It hosts Saint-Etienne on Friday.
Montpellier fell to another defeat on Tuesday, against Arsenal in the Champions League, but coach Rene Girard is confident things are turning around.
''That match has to be a base to kick-start our season,'' Girard said. ''You can't be happy when you lose but we shook one of the best teams in Europe. Physically and mentally, we are there.''
Lille was also in Champions League action, but it slumped to a surprise 3-1 home defeat against BATE Borisov. It faces second-place Lyon on Sunday, still looking for its first win since an opening day victory at Saint-Etienne.
Bordeaux also plays on Sunday as it entertains AC Ajaccio.
Elsewhere on Saturday, it's: Brest vs. Valenciennes; Lorient vs. Nice; Reims vs. Nancy; Sochaux vs. Troyes; and Toulouse vs. Rennes.