by SCOTT TAYLOR
Nice maintained their three-point lead at the top of Ligue 1 despite both Monaco and Paris-Saint-Germain provisionally moving ahead of them prior to their 1-0 win at Saint-Etienne.
Lyon leapt up the table to move into fourth with a win over strugglers Lille, whilst Nancy boosted their hopes of survival with a narrow win at home to mid-table Dijon.
Finally, free-falling Metz ended their horrific run of form with victory at Toulouse, whilst Rudi Garcia secured his first win as Marseille manager with victory against Caen. Here’s this week’s Ligue 1 round-up.
AS Saint-Etienne 0-1 OGC Nice
Valentin Eysseric was the hero as the Nice midfielder scored the only goal of the game in their 1-0 win over his former side Saint-Etienne to maintain their three point lead at the top of Ligue 1. Despite missing the suspended Mario Balotelli and captain Paul Baysse, Lucien Favre’s side edged out a narrow win, as the Les Aiglons made it eight weeks at the top of the table.
Lorient 0-3 AS Monaco
Monaco temporarily moved to the summit with as goals from Radamel Falcao, Thomas Lemar and Boschilia helped the league’s highest scorers to a 3-0 win at bottom side Lorient. Falcao gave the visitors the lead with his fifth goal in seven games before Lemar doubled their lead with his fifth of the campaign, matching his career-best tally in a season in the just the 12th game. Boschilia sealed the points with Monaco’s 17th goal from a set-piece this season, as Leonardo Jardim’s side maintain their record of averaging three goals per Ligue 1 game.
Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 Nantes
Angel Di Maria scored, but then got injured as Paris Saint-Germain kept pace with the leaders after a 2-0 win at home to Nantes, with summer signing Jese netting his first goal for Unai Emery’s side. Jean-Kevin Augustin had a goal disallowed on his first start of the campaign, but Javier Pastore limped off with a knee injury and is doubtful for the game against Arsenal this week.
LOSC Lille 0-1 Olympique Lyonnais
Maxwel Cornet scored the only goal of the game as Lyon leapfrogged Guingamp, Rennes and Bordeaux into fourth after a 1-0 win at Lille on Friday evening. The victory was Bruce Genesio’s side’s third in succession, and just their first in nine visits to the Stade Pierre-Mauroy, but were lucky as Ibrahim Amadou struck the crossbar for the hosts late on.
Olympique de Marseille 1-0 SM Caen
Rudi Garcia claimed his first win as Marseille manager as Rolando’s late goal ensured they beat Caen 1-0 at the Stade Velodrome to seal their first home win in five games.
The Portuguese defender, who was out-of-favour by former boss Franck Passi, scored Marseille’s first goal at home in three matches and the first goal scored in front of new owner Frank McCourt.
EA Guingamp 1-1 Girondins de Bordeaux
Jimmy Briand scored an injury-time equaliser but Guingamp slipped up in their pursuit of a European place with a 1-1 draw at home to fellow challengers Bordeaux at the Stade de Roudourou. Igor Lewcsuk looked to have given the visitors their first away win in four matches, but Briand’s header ensured that Les Girondins sealed their fifth draw in seven games whilst extending his side’s unbeaten home record to six matches.
Stade Rennais 1-1 Angers SCO
Nicloas Pepe scored a late equaliser a nine-man Angers rescued a point at Rennes, who have still yet to taste defeat at home in Ligue 1 this season. Giovanni Sio gave the hosts a first-half lead with a smart finish, but substitute Pepe scored his first league goal for Angers, who had Romain Thomas and Cheikh N’Doye sent off.
Toulouse 1-2 FC Metz
Georges Mandjeck and Yann Jouffre were on target as Metz sealed their first win in six games with a 2-1 victory at free-falling Toulouse, who also now have one win in their last six matches. Jouffre’s penalty gave the visitors the lead with their seventh goal from a set-piece meaning they have now scored more goals from a dead ball situation than open play this season. Former Spurs left-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto then set up Madjeck for Metz’s second, but PSG loanee Odsonne Edouard pulled a goal back for the hosts in injury-time.
SC Bastia 1-1 Montpellier Herault SC
Steve Mounie scored a second-half equaliser to extend Montpellier’s winless run at the Stade Armand Cesari to more than 13 years after Ellyes Skhiri’s own goal gave the visitors the lead. Despite being without their first choice goalkeeper Jean-Louis Leca, captain Yannick Cahuzac and suspended midfielder Gael Danic, Bastia left the more frustrated of the two sides in Corsica.
AS Nancy Lorraine 1-0 Dijon FCO
Julio Tavares’ deflected winner gave Nancy the stroke of luck they need in their battle for survival after a 1-0 win over the in-form Dijon, whose six-game unbeaten run came to an end.
Baptiste Reynet was again in inspired form for Dijon, but his defence was broken when Tobias Badlia’s low-drive hit Tavare for a 77th minute winner. Dijon haven’t won away from home in 11 Ligue 1 games, a run that goes back to March 2012, where they beat Marseille 2-1.