Mon, Aug 19, 2013 - Page 18 News List

LIGUE 1: Les Verts, l’OM join Lyon at the top

AFP, PARIS

Olympique de Marseille’s Andre-Pierre Gignac, right, scores past Evian Thonon Gaillard’s Youssouf Sabaly in their Ligue 1 match in Marseille, France, on Saturday.

Photo: AFP

Olympique de Marseille and AS Saint-Etienne joined Olympique Lyonnais at the top of Ligue 1 with respective victories over Evian Thonon Gaillard and En Avant de Guingamp on Saturday.

Lyon, who beat Sochaux-Montbeliard 3-1 on Friday, lead on goal-difference with the trio of teams locked on maximum points after two outings.

At the Stade Velodrome, France international Andre-Pierre Gignac inspired l’OM to a 2-0 defeat of Evian with a brilliant opener on 16 minutes, before the home side then made the points safe with 23 minutes left when Dimitri Payet pounced on a rebound for his third goal of the young season.

“The numbers speak for themselves,” delighted Marseille coach Elie Baup said. “We’ve got six points, scored five and conceded one, so we’ve got our season off to a very good start.”

Les Verts, who picked up their first silverware last season since winning Ligue 1 in the 1980-1981 season when they won the Coupe de la Ligue, continued where they left off with a deserved 1-0 win over promoted yet pointless Guingamp.

The only goal of the match was a flowing move on 52 minutes that was superbly finished off by Fabian Lemoine after a one-two on the edge of the area.

Girondins de Bordeaux gave themselves a hard nights’ work when defender Marc Planus was shown a straight red card after just 28 minutes for a shocking tackle on Israel international Eden ben Basat, but managed to escape with a 1-1 draw at Toulouse.

The visitors, who last won the title under current Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc in 2008-2009, took the lead just before halftime when Mali international Cheick Diabate broke the offside trap and beat Toulouse goalkeeper Ali Ahamada with a close-range finish.

The lead lasted just two minutes, though, as Toulouse equalized through Ben Basat, who shook off an earlier disallowed goal and blasted home a loose ball after a mix-up in the Bordeaux defense.

Europa League hopefuls OGC Nice bounced back from their 4-0 thrashing at Lyon the previous weekend with a 2-1 win over Stade Rennais as they got off to a bright start with a 20th-minute opener from Argentine Dario Cvitanic.

Rennes got the perfect tonic before halftime when Nelson Oliveira scored in the dying seconds of the opening 45 minutes, before a defensive howler put Nice back in front. An unforgivable mistake by Nigerian Ejike Uzoenyi — who was the last man — handed the ball on a plate to Jeremy Pied, who calmly slotted it past astonished Rennes goalkeeper Benoit Costil for three priceless points.

SC Bastia were also the beneficiaries of poor defending as they notched up their first points of the season with a 2-0 win over Valenciennes thanks to a Gianni Bruno tap-in with 14 minutes left, before a powerful header from Adama Ba three minutes later carried the Corsicans home.

Elsewhere, Stade de Reims handed new OSC Lille Metropole coach Rene Girard his first defeat since moving from Montpellier where he won the 2011-2012 title as they ran out 2-1 winners at home.

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