Bouanga scores as AS Saint-Etienne shock Olympique Marseille

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Dennis Bouanga, ASSE
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Goals from the Gabon international and Romain Hamouma helped the Greens secure all points at stake against the Phocaeans

AS Saint-Etienne continued their bright start to the season after shocking Olympique Marseille 2-0 in Thursday’s Ligue 1 encounter.

Goals from Romain Hamouna and Denis Bouanga were all the Greens needed to silence their hosts at the Orange Velodrome.

Having won their first two games in the 2020-21 campaign, both teams went into this encounter hoping to maintain their 100 percent records.

Marseille were overwhelming favourites to make home advantage count having claimed their first win over Paris Saint-Germain in nine years last week, nevertheless, Claude Puel’s men had a different idea.

Hamouma gave the visitors a shock lead after six minutes, creeping in front of Duje Caleta-Car to convert Yvann Macon’s left-wing cross.

That was the only goal scored in the first 45 minutes with the hosts pushing further for an equaliser.

Marley Ake was introduced in the second-half for Marseille, who soon turned a Florian Thauvin pass against the bar as they went looking for the leveller.

Morgan Sanson also squandered a terrific chance before he was substituted for Valere Germain in the 73rd minute.

However, it was Saint-Etienne who went on to score again after Gabon international Bouanga was set up by Arnaud Nordin to fire past goalkeeper Steve Mandanda. Before the important goal, the 25-year-old winger had squandered several scoring opportunities.

While Bouanga was in action from start to finish for Puel’s team, Cameroonian midfielder Yvan Neyou, who is on loan from Braga, was handed a place in the starting XI, but he was replaced by Nelson Sissoko after 72 minutes.

Neyou's compatriot Harold Moukoudi was an unused substitute while Cote d'Ivoire's Jean-Philippe Krasso, Algeria's Ryad Boudebouz and Senegal's Assane Diousse were not listed for the showdown.

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For Marseille, Tunisia's Saif-Eddine Khaoui was an unused substitute along with Cameroon's Simon Ngapandouetnbu and Comoros' Abdallah Ali Mohamed, who was not considered for selection by the Phocaeans’ boss.

Saint-Etienne, who have now secured their first win away to Marseille since August 1979, sit at the top of the French elite division log after winning all three games played so far in the 2020-21 campaign.

They face Nantes on Sunday while Andre Villas-Boas' side will be seeking for redemption at home against Lille.

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