St Etienne thrashed Nancy 4-0 to kick off the weekend’s action in France.
Nancy will not be happy at all with their performance. With all four goals scored in the first 45 minutes, the game was effectively over by half-time. Two Brandao strikes were added to by Romain Hamouma and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to give St Etienne the victory.
Nigerian forward Simon Zenke was sent off in the second half, making matters worse for Nancy.
Evian put in a resilient showing as they defeated champions Montpellier 3-2 away from home. Saber Khelifa opened the scoring on the half-hour mark to give Evian the lead before Marco Estrada equalised just five minutes later.
Souleymane Camara then put the champions in front which gave them the lead going into half time. Evian put in a strong second-half shift and were level when Khelifa scored his second of the game on the hour mark. Khelifa completed his hat trick in the 89th minute to give Evian the impressive and important victory.
In the battle of the newly promoted sides, Bastia defeated Troyes 3-2. Troyes’ Brazilian defender Rincon struck an own goal to give Bastia the lead before veteran forward Marcos pulled them level. Anthony Modeste’s goal gave Bastia the lead at half time.
The home side conceded a penalty early in the second half, giving Troyes the opportunity to equalise. Unfortunately for Troyes, everything went downhill from there. Red cards were handed to Fabrice N’Salaka and Thiago Xavier and Bastia used the advantage to score late through Toifilou Maoulida.
Lille pushed themselves further up the table with a 2-0 victory over Ajaccio. Nolan Roux and Ryan Mendes scored the goals either side of half time to move Lille into the top half of the table.
Reims defeated Nice 3-1 in a strong showing which sees them remain in an impressive position in the Ligue 1 table. Midfielder Diego scored early in the match, giving Reims the lead and Nice waited until the second half to pull themselves level through Dario Cvitanich.
Just as things looked to be heading for a draw, two quickfire goals from Gaetan Courtet gave Reims the three points.
Rennes managed a narrow away victory, beating Sochaux 1-0. A goal in the seventh minute from Mevlut Erding gave the side the win.
In Saturday’s late match, Toulouse and Valenciennes battled to a 2-2 draw. Valenciennes were 2-0 up within fifteen minutes through goals by Foued Kadir and Carlos Sanchez. Toulouse waited until the hour mark to begin their comeback, with Wissam Ben Yedder scoring yet again for the home side.
A goal in extra time from 21 year-old forward Adrien Regattin ensured a point though Valenciennes will be disappointed that they were unable to hold on for the victory given such an impressive start to the fixture.
Brest and Bordeaux drew 1-1 in Sunday’s first fixture. Eden Ben Basat gave Brest the advantage by half time but a Cheick Diabete strike midway through the second half earned Bordeaux a point.
Lorient and Lyon also drew 1-1. Bafetimbi Gomis gave the away side the lead before Jeremie Aliadiere’s strike in the second half ensured that Lorient’s unbeaten run was extended.
While ‘El Clasico’ was in progress over in Spain, France’s own Classique between Marseille and Paris Saint-Germain was taking place. Marseille struck first through Andre-Pierre Gignac, though their lead did not last long as two goals in quick succession from Zlatan Ibrahimovic put PSG ahead.
Gignac struck his second on the half-hour mark to pull Marseille level. Despite both sides pushing forward in the second half, neither was able to grab the all-important winner in the end.
Results: St Etienne 4-0 Nancy; Montpellier 2-3 Evian; Bastia 3-2 Troyes; Lille 2-0 Ajaccio; Reims 3-1 Nice; Sochaux 0-1 Rennes; Toulouse 2-2 Valenciennes; Brest 1-1 Bordeaux; Lorient 1-1 Lyon; Marseille 2-2 PSG
Good week: Reims – The newly-promoted side soared in the league table with their late victory over Nice.
Bad week: Montpellier – The reigning champions have not made any kind of impact at all this season and do not look like they will be able to effectively retain their title, even at this early stage of the season.