• Sunday, 8 August 2010

    Caen spring early surprise: Ligue 1 reviews

    Auxerre 2-2 Lorient
    Lens 1-2 Nancy
    Lyon 0-0 Monaco
    Marseille 1-2 Caen
    Nice 0-0 Valenciennes
    PSG 3-1 St Etienne
    Sochaux 2-1 Arles
    Rennes 1-1 Lille
    Toulouse 2-0 Brest
    Montpellier 1-0 Bordeaux

    On the opening Saturday, not one of the title favourites managed a win. Auxerre, Lille and Lyon were all held to draws, but the big shock was newly promoted Caen going to the Vélodrome and turning Marseille over. The Normans played really well and didn't give Marseille any time on the ball and went ahead after winning the ball in midfield in just those circumstances. The skipper Nicolas Seube found the ball at his feet and, as the defence backed away and backed away, unleashed a low fizzer from 25 yards past Steve Mandanda and into the bottom corner. Marseille were level quarter of an hour from time thanks to a defensive mix-up, goalkeeper and defender each leaving the other to clear and Mamadou Samassa nipped in and poked the ball home, but Caen found a winner late in the piece, Youssef El Arabi left completely unmarked at the back post to nod in for an unlikely three points. Auxerre came from behind to lead before being pegged back by Lorient. Sigamary Diarra showed some neat footwork before firing home in the seventh minute to give Lorient the lead. Yann Jouffré almost made it two, but his shot came back off the post before a low, driven cross found Benoit Pedretti for the equaliser. Anthony Le Tallec put AJA ahead early in the second half, somehow finding a way to goal from the edge of the box, but Lorient got a deserved point thanks to Arnold Mvuemba's stunner which looped over Olivier Sorin in the AJA goal. Lille had to come from behind in an open game at Rennes for whom Ismael Bangoura got the opener, springing the offside trap and blasting it past Mickael Landreau. Moussa Sow went close to an equaliser in the first half, but did get it in the second, heading in at the back post. Lyon couldn't find a way past Monaco in a goalless encounter. Bordeaux lost the Sunday evening game at Montpellier who pick up where they left off last season. Just the one goal in it, right back Garry Bocaly with a tidy flick of the head to divert a free-kick just beyond the reach of Geoffrey Jourdren.

    Arles took an early lead against Sochaux, but couldn't hold on for the win. In a very natty pink and grey number - it does work, honest - Franck Djadjede headed them in front after a high, hanging cross was missed by the home defence. The lead lasted just seven minutes when Edouard Butin's shot saw the keeper dive over it and allow it through and Jacques Faty got the winner with a near post header from a corner early in the second period. Brest went down to Toulouse who were ahead late in the first half thanks to Daniel Braaten's cool finish. Braaten won a late penalty which Paulo Macahdo dispatched in style, but only after TFC had lost André-Pierre Gignac to a nasty looking ankle injury. Nancy escaped with three points from Lens in a dramatic finale. Julien Feret had Nancy in front on the half hour, a great, late arrival in the box to meet a well-timed cross and crack it past the keeper for 1-0. Toifilou Maoulida levelled it twenty minutes from time, stabbing in from close range before it became the Pascal Berenguer show. The Nancy skipper started the move and followed in to power a shot home from the edge of the box to restore the lead with seven minutes to go. In the last minute of the game, Berenguer pulled down Henri Bedimo just inside the box and picked up a second yellow. The penalty wasn't great from Issam Jemaa and it was saved. Nice had the better of a goalless draw with Valenciennes while St Etienne went down heavily in the capital. Mevlut Erdinc had PSG in front inside five minutes, but Les Verts were level five minutes from half time as Dimitri Payet shaped to shoot, allowed the defence to part and then fired home. The lead lasted barely two minutes though as Stephane Sessegnon's overhead shot came off the post and the back of St Etienne keeper Jérémie Janot's arms and in for an unfortunate own goal. The points were sealed eight minutes from time by Nene as Les Verts were caught on the counter once too often.

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