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It's all change at the top of Ligue 1 as Saint-Etienne take charge, though OM have strengthened their bid with a victory over Arles.

Saturday, September 19, 2010

Lorient 0-1 Caen
Monaco 0-0 Toulouse
Nancy 0-2 Stade Brestois
Saint-Etienne 3-0 Montpellier
Sochaux 4-0 Nice
Valenciennes 1-1 Racing Club de Lens
Arles-Avignon 0-3 Olympique de Marseille

Sunday, September 20

Lille 1–0 Auxerre
Paris Saint-Germain 0–0 Stade Rennais
Girondins de Bordeaux L-L Olympique Lyonnais

Lorient 0-1 Caen
 
Franck Dumas saw his Caen side pick-up maximum points at the expense of struggling Lorient, who dominated the early stages of this encounter but could not find a breakthrough.

Youssef El-Arabi was once again the saviour of les Malherbes, striking the only goal of the game after 41 minutes to tie up another valuable three points. The forward was the benefactor of a fine pass from Ismael N’Diaye and finished neatly at Fabien Audard’s near post.

FCL had enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges, but Lynel Kitambala couldn’t force the ball by Alexis Thebault at his near post as a succession of early chances went a-begging.

Caen muscled their way back into the match, with Kandia Traore denied by a Brune Ecuele goal line clearance before El-Arabi struck.

After the break, the home side’s threat was meagre, with Thebault comfortably saving an angled Kevin Gameiro shot as les Merlus went down surprisingly easily.

Monaco 0-0 Toulouse


Toulouse lost the leadership of Ligue 1 as they were held to a scoreless draw against a Monaco side who have now tied five of their opening six Championnat matches.

Les Monegasques had the better of the opening half but struggled for real penetration against a strong Tefece defence. Dieumerci Mbokani had a header just over the top before half-time, but it was the guests who had the better efforts, with Paulo Machado sending a free kick just wide and Federico Santander heading straight at Stephane Ruffier.

The home custodian was called into action on several occasions in the final quarter of the game as the men for the Pink City pushed for a winning goal that would not arrive.

Nancy 0-2 Stade Brestois


The miserable home run of Nancy continued as they lost their third successive Ligue 1 match on the Stade Marcel-Pichot’s artificial surface.

It was a classic away performance from SB29, who soaked up a great deal of pressure and hit on the counter through Tomas Mikola and Larsen Toure late in the game.

This was an encounter that seemed destined for a scoreless draw for over an hour before a long throw from Paul Bayesse wasn’t dealt with by the home rearguard, allowing Micola to coolly finish past Gennaro Bracigliano.

Three minutes into stoppage time, the game was made safe when Micola released Toure down the flank to steam towards goal and show fine composure to steer the ball into the net, securing the points for satisfied coach Alex Dupont.

Saint-Etienne 3-0 Montpellier

Saint-Etienne’s young side are shock leader of Ligue 1 after a tremendous home victory over Montpellier.

Dimitri Payet
was once again the star of the show for les Verts. The winger increased his lead at the summit of the top scorer standings by scoring twice. His first goal was a wonderful individual effort that saw him beat his marker before dashing into the box to flash home a shot at the near post.

Soon Emmanuel Riviere was getting in on the act, flicking a nice header into the net after good play from Loic Perrin and Bakary Sako down the right.

The last decisive word would come from Payet, who struck another wonderful goal, driving home direct from a free kick into the top corner of Geoffrey Jourdren’s net as les Verts’ surprisingly bright start to the season continues.



Sochaux 4-0 Nice

After a bright start to the season, Nice saw their unbeaten run come spectacularly to an end in Montbeliard, where they were smashed 4-0 by a rampant Sochaux side.

Les Lionceaux had created the better of the first half openings before taking the lead in stoppage time at the end of the period thanks to the hugely impressive Ideye Brown. The Nigerian competed a terrific team move by the hosts by blasting home from the edge of the box.

Having broken clear of their guests, Sochaux added to their lead in the second half, with Ryad Boudebouz grabbing one of the goals of the week as he struck a magnificent volley beyond David Ospina.

Marvin Martin struck a cute third after good work from Ideye with 13 minutes remaining, and the damage to les Aiglons was completed by Modibo Maiga in the final minute of the match as he waltzed through several challenges before beating the exposed goalkeeper.

 Valenciennes 1-1 Racing Club de Lens


In their second derby in as many weeks, Lens picked up a point against Valenciennes due to Abdoulrazak Boukari’s dramatic last minute equaliser.

Boukari’s goal came after a Gregory Sertic free kick, with the attacker hammering past Nicolas Penneteau at the edge of the box.

Previously, Mamadou Samassa had given VA the advantage in a hard fought encounter, side-footing home after a great low cross from Gregory Pujol.

There were few other genuine openings in this match, so a draw was a just outcome between these two fierce rivals.

Arles-Avignon 0-3 Olympique de Marseille


Marseille rode their luck somewhat as they smashed Arles-Avignon 3-0 to go some way to banishing the memories of their mediocre midweek presentation against Spartak Moscow.

It took OM 32 minutes to break the deadlock, and when they did move in front, it was in unspectacular fashion. Gabriel Heinze seemingly had a free header from a Benoit Cheyrou free kick but missed the ball totally and watched as it flew into the home net in any case.

Five minutes later the game was effectively over as Andre Ayew scored the first of a brace. The Ghanaian received a pass from Andre-Pierre Gignac and finished clinically from inside the box.

Ayew added his personal second early in the second half. Former OM defender Elamine Erbate made an error that allowed Gignac a shot at goal, and though Vicente Plante blocked that effort, the African was quickly up with play to slide into the target.

Les Phoceens didn’t look especially sound at the back, which meant goalkeeper Steve Mandanda was called into action far more regularly than he would have liked, drawing specific praise from coach Didier Deschamps after the game as a result.

Lille 1–0 Auxerre


Both Lille and Auxerre continue to struggle for early season form, with a lack of confidence in front of goal portrayed as les Douges ran out late 1-0 victors on Sunday.

Moussa Sow pinched the game’s only goal in the penultimate minute of the game, who won the match for Rudi Garcia’s team by knocking home a cross following a cross from Eden Hazard and a flick from Gervinho.

Five minutes into the second half, LOSC thought they had taken the lead as Pierre-Alain Frau had the ball in the net, but his strike was disallowed due to offside.

The best chances in this encounter tended to arrive early, though both sides were rather lacking in offensive imagination as they played out a thoroughly disappointing tie.

Paris Saint-Germain 0–0 Stade Rennais


After their midweek heroics against Sevilla in Spain, PSG failed to breakdown the resilient defence of Rennes at the Parc des Princes.

Les Parisiens would have the better of a rather low-key game but squandered the best chances they had to break the deadlock. Guillaume Hoarau was to prove a particular worry for the visiting defence, but he headed straight at Nicolas Douchez when unmarked in the second half.

Arguably Mevlut Erding would have the best opportunity of the game as he sharply got on the end of a knockdown from his big strike partner only to turn the ball wide of goal from little more than six yards out.

Rennes were disappointing as an attacking force, with a speculative effort from Romain Danze in the first period about the best they managed all afternoon.

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