Marseille came from behind to beat Lille 2-1 at the Stade Velodrome to protect their unbeaten start to the Ligue 1 campaign.
The hosts went behind for the first time this season when Ismaily broke the deadlock early in the first half to give Lille the lead.
The Brazilian left-back was on alert to steer home a loose ball beyond a helpless Paul Lopez. Adam Ounas had done brilliantly to receive the ball with his back to goal and pirouette to get a low shot off, which rattled the post before Ismaily gobbled up the rebound.
Alexis Sanchez pulled Marseille level with a clever finish just over 10 minutes later.
Papa Gueye started the move in the Marseille half and quickly offloaded the ball to Amine Harit, who drove the ball into the final third. He slipped it right to Cengiz Under, whose excellent cross found Sanchez in the middle. The 33-year-old was able to slot the ball past Lucas Chevalier with a clever first-time finish.
Despite Marseille back on level terms, Igor Tudor made an early tactical change, replacing an already cautioned Leonardo Balardi for Arsenal loanee Nuno Tavares.
The change had a positive impact on the hosts, who picked up momentum and almost went ahead but Under was denied from point-blank range following a goal-mouth scramble.
Marseille started the second half brightly and were denied twice by Chevalier in quick succession; the second save showing pure quality from the 20-year-old as he tipped over a speculative effort from range.
Samuel Gigot scored his first goal for Marseille to fire the hosts in front and complete the comeback midway through the second half.
Gigot was quickest to react to a flicked-on Sead Kolasinac header from a deep free-kick to poke the ball beyond Chevalier from close-range. It looked like he had strayed offside, but a rapid VAR check confirmed the goal and Marseille’s lead.
Lille committed bodies forward towards the end of the match but could not find an equaliser as Marseille held on for their fifth straight league win.
TALKING POINT – MARSEILLE REMAIN UNBEATEN
That’s five wins on the spin for Marseille, who protected their lead after falling behind for the first time this season. They showed grit and determination to pull themselves back into the tie after a fairly underwhelming start, and an early tactical change from Igor Tudor, helped the hosts to a crucial comeback win.
Marseille climb to second after that win, two points off league leaders PSG, and can probably count themselves as title challengers this season.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – LUCAS CHEVALIER (LILLE)
Despite conceding twice, the youngster put on a brilliant display for the visitors to keep his team in the game right until the end. Marseille didn’t start the game as they would have liked, but after some early tactical and personal changes, began to grow into the game.
They came out in the second half with their tails up and peppered Chevalier’s goal early on, forcing the 20-year-old to spring into action and make a couple of quick saves, including a superb stop, tipping a long-range effort over the bar.
He couldn’t do much more to prevent either of Marseille’s goals. Both were clever, close-range finishes.
MARSEILLE: Lopez 6, Mbemba 6, Gigot 8, Balerdi 2, Clauss 6, Kolasinac 5, Gueye 7, Guendouzi 7, Harit 7, Under 8, Sanchez 8. Subs: Bailly 6, Tavares 7, Toure 6, Veretout 6, Gerson N/A
LILLE: Chevalier 8, Djalo 5, Fonte 6, Zedadka 5, Diakite 5, Ismaily 7, Bamba 6, Andre 6, David 4, Dunas 5, Angel 5. Subs: Gudmundsson N/A, Gomes 5, Virginius 5, Bayo 5
12’ GOAL! MARSEILLE 0-1 LILLE (ISMAILY) – Ismaily opens the scoring for Lille. Ounas had an effort denied by the post, but Ismaily was alert and followed up the rebound to slot home.
26’ – GOAL! MARSEILLE 1-1 LILLE (SANCHEZ) – A brilliant goal. Sanchez equalises with a first-time close-range finish after a ruthless Marseille attack.
29’ – MARSEILLE MAKE AN EARLY TACTICAL CHANGE – Bernardi is not happy as he’s taken off after only 28 minutes. He has been booked, but it looks like a tactical change as Nuno Tavares comes on.
61’ – GOAL! MARSEILLE 2-1 LILLE (GIGOT) – Marseille lead. Gigot is quickest to react and turns in a flicked-on Kolasinac header from a free-kick from close range.
Marseille win their fifth league game in a row to close in on PSG.
Leonardo Balerdi made zero interceptions, zero clearances, won zero duals and lost possession nine times before he was subbed off 28 minutes into the match.