Olympique de Marseille continued their excellent start to the Ligue 1 season on Saturday with a hard-earned win at Valenciennes, but Olympique Lyonnais completed a miserable week by suffering a shock home loss to Stade de Reims.
A late goal from Andre-Pierre Gignac gave l’OM a 1-0 win in France’s far north before Lyon lost to Reims by the same scoreline at the Stade de Gerland in a game interrupted for more than half-an-hour by torrential rain and which saw the hosts miss a second-half penalty.
Gignac turned in the loose ball with just five minutes remaining after Valenciennes goalkeeper Nicolas Penneteau had failed to hold Andre Ayew’s header.
The goal was Gignac’s third in as many games this season and came in between shocking misses at the other end by substitutes Aurelian Chitu and Opa Nguette as Marseille gained revenge for a 4-1 thumping suffered at the Stade du Hainaut last season.
“At the start of the season it is important to get points on the board and it also helps us prepare for a difficult month of September when the games will come thick and fast,” said Marseille manager Elie Baup, whose side entertain AS Monaco in a potential cracker this weekend.
Marseille on Saturday was provisionally two points clear of Monaco at the summit after the principality club only managed a 0-0 draw with Toulouse on Friday in a match played behind closed doors.
Lyon could have gone back to the top on goal difference if they had beaten Reims, but Remi Garde’s side endured another nightmare evening at the Stade de Gerland.
After losing 2-0 at home to Real Sociedad in the first leg of their Champions League playoff on Tuesday to severely compromise their chances of qualifying for the group stage, OL failed to reproduce the form that saw them win their first two Ligue 1 games in style.
They struggled to create chances in the first half before ceaseless rain forced officials to delay the start of the second half by 35 minutes.
When play finally recommenced, Yoann Gourcuff almost got the breakthrough from a fiercely struck free-kick and then Alexandre Lacazette hit the bar from close range.
The hosts were then awarded a penalty when substitute Jordan Ferri was bundled over in the box, but Clement Grenier contrived to blast the award over the bar.
Reims then twisted the knife when Odair Fortes’ cross from the left deflected off Milan Bisevac and looped into the net.
“It is very tough to come away with nothing. A draw would have been fairer,” Garde said.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Stade Rennais moved up to fifth with their second win in three games under new coach Philippe Montanier as Portuguese striker Nelson Oliveira scored twice in a 2-1 win away to Evian Thonon Gaillard in Annecy.
Girondins de Bordeaux recorded their first win of the campaign, beating SC Bastia 1-0 courtesy of Henri Saivet’s beautifully struck free-kick in the first half, while MontpellierHarault also grabbed a victory.
Last year’s champions came from behind to beat 10-man Sochaux-Montbeliard 2-1 with Vitorino Promoted En Avant de Guingamp claimed their first points of the campaign with a 2-0 win against Lorient in a Brittany derby, with last season’s second-tier top scorer Mustapha Yatabare scoring both goals.
AS Saint-Etienne were to face LOSC Lille Metropole yesterday, AC Ajaccio were to host OGC Nice and reigning champions Paris Saint-Germain were to travel to promoted Nantes.