Marseille retain lead at the top

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A review of the weekend’s action in the French Ligue 1.

Marseille retained their two-point lead over Bordeaux at the top of Ligue 1 after both sides recorded 2-1 wins on Sunday.

OM won at home to St Etienne thanks to two first-half goals, while Bordeaux needed a stoppage-time winner to sink Rennes.

Gilbert Imbula and Dimitri Payet scored to put Marseille in control before the half-hour at the Stade Velodrome and, although Jonathan Brison pulled one back early in the second half, the hosts finished the stronger.

Bordeaux went ahead through Wahbi Khazri after 73 minutes before Rennes levelled nine minutes from time through substitute Mamadou Habibou. Thomas Toure’s goal then decided the match with 93 minutes on the clock.

Lyon maintained their unbeaten run through September but Jordan Veretout’s 72nd-minute penalty helped Nantes claim a 1-1 draw at La Beaujoire-Louis Fonteneau.

The visitors had beaten Monaco and Lorient, in-between a draw with Paris St Germain, and appeared on course to collect three points on Sunday when Bakary Kone opened the scoring shortly after the interval.

But Kone went from hero to villain as his foul on Georges-Kevin N’Koudou in the area gave Nantes a way back into the match, with Veretout making no mistake from 12 yards out.

Promoted sides Lens and Caen played out an entertaining 90 minutes on Sunday but failed to produce a goal in their  encounter at the Stade de la Licorne.

Lille moved just a point behind Ligue 1 leaders Marseille with a 1-0 win over Bastia on Saturday.

Divock Origi’s goal six minutes before half-time was enough to see off the Corsican side as Rene Girard’s men climbed a tightly-packed table, taking advantage of Paris St Germain once again dropping points.

The two-time reigning champions came from behind to draw 1-1 at Toulouse and, although they remain unbeaten, a fifth draw of the season will leave coach Laurent Blanc increasingly frustrated by their failure to finish teams off.

Wissam Ben Yedder’s fifth goal of the season gave the hosts the lead before Jean-Christophe Bahebeck equalised.

Just three points now cover the top eight teams, although OM can pull further clear when they take on St Etienne on Sunday.

Last year’s Ligue 2 champions Metz are the surprise name in fifth place after a 3-0 victory over nine-man Reims at Stade Saint-Symphorien.

Striker Juan Manuel Falcon scored Metz’s opener five minutes into the second half and netted their third in stoppage time after Ahmed Kashi had made the points safe with a 70th-minute strike.

Reims suffered the indignity of finishing the match with just nine players after Chris Mavinga and Mats Albaek were sent off by referee Oliver Thual.

Victor Montano grabbed a 2-1 win for Montpellier in a match overshadowed by the bizarre late dismissal of Guingamp goalkeeper Mamadou Samassa.

Claudio Beauvue looked to have rescued a point for the visitors when he cancelled out Souleymane Camara’s opener with six minutes to go.

But Montano responded four minutes later before Samassa was sent off after aggressively confronting referee Philippe Kalt.

Nice halted the Monaco revival as an early free-kick from Carlos Eduardo earned the visitors a 1-0 victory in the Cote d’Azur derby.

Goals from Djakaridja Kone and Cedric Barbosa lifted Evian off the bottom of the table as they claimed a 2-0 victory at Lorient, their second straight win.

 

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