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08th Feb 2017

Dimitri Payet got off the mark in his second Marseille stint and of course it was a free kick

Like he'd never been away

Tom Victor

Dimitri Payet left England with a reputation for many things, but above all else he ended his spell at West Ham United as a free kick king.

The Frenchman scored his fair share of dead ball efforts last season, with a long-range strike against Manchester United in the FA Cup perhaps the pick of the bunch, and added a couple this season against Accrington and Liverpool.

Payet has, of course, returned to Marseille after just 18 months in East London, and didn’t get off to the best of starts when Rudi García’s team lost to relegation-threatened Metz.

But things soon picked up, with the midfielder’s second home debut resulting in a 2-0 victory over Guingamp in Ligue 1.

He even made it onto the scoresheet, adding to a first-half effort from Bafétimbi Gomis, and while the strike may have taken a deflection it still had the hallmarks of a classic Payet free kick.

The victory helped Marseille return to the top six in the French league, but they remain 16 points adrift of the Champions League spots after the runaway start to the season enjoyed by Monaco, Paris Saint-Germain and Nice.

But OM fans won’t be complaining too much if Payet keeps doing what he does best and helps them climb the table between now and May.

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