Both outfits were seeking to secure their first respective victories of the new campaign to really get their seasons kickstarted. They each had some reason for optimism, though, as Angers headed into this fixture unbeaten after drawing their opening two games, with Brest tasting defeat before managing to claim a respectable draw against Olympique de Marseille last time out.
Despite the home side taking the game to Les Pirates in the early stages, it was the visitors who managed to race ahead in the 10th minute, as Jérémy Le Douaron got his head on Algeria international Youcef Belaïli’s inch-perfect corner and excellently guided the ball low past Paul Bernardoni. Brest’s advantage was soon boosted when Halid Šabanović was sent off midway through the half for a dangerous foul, before the visitors doubled their tally minutes later when Le Douaron was in the right place at the right time to bag his second goal of the game from close range.
The hosts’ discipline was still a cause of concern after HT, as Sada Thioub and Loïs Diony were issued yellow cards within the space of a few minutes. Nevertheless, Brest were keen to press on against the ten men of Angers and managed to net a third goal in the 65th minute thanks to Achraf Dari, who found the net with his head following another corner that the home side were unable to cope with.
There was still some fight left in Les Noirs et Blancs as the clock ticked down, as they netted a consolation goal through Sofiane Boufal, who blasted in a strike from the edge of the area, but they ultimately didn’t have enough firepower to stage an emphatic comeback. The victory for Brest promisingly moves them into the top half of the table at this early stage of the season, while the loss for Angers sees them taste their 12th Ligue 1 defeat this calendar year.
Lucien Favre has failed to hit the ground running since returning to Nice, so the former Borussia Dortmund boss would have been desperate for a positive start. He nearly got his wish in the second minute, however, the woodwork was to frustratingly deny Amine Gouiri from opening the scoring. The visitors were made to rue that near-miss just minutes later when Neto Borges’ cross from the left flank found Komnen Andrić, who was unable to connect with his attempted strike, but Khaoui had no such problems, pouncing on Andrić’s miskick to fire the ball into the bottom corner.
Just like their opening 1-1 away draw against Toulouse, Les Aiglons were tasked with clawing their way back into the contest after falling behind. Jordan Lotomba was presented with the best chance to find an equaliser before the break, but he was unable to direct his strike either side of Mory Diaw. Trailing at HT, Favre gave the starting lineup an opportunity to offer an improvement in the opening stages of the second half, but with chances proving to be few and far between, a triple substitution was made just before the hour mark in a bid to find a leveller.
As the contest drifted into the final 15 minutes, Clermont began to retreat which allowed Nice to trouble Diaw’s goal. Andy Delort rifled the ball over the crossbar before Diaw reacted well to thwart Aaron Ramsey from close-range. However, Nice lost their heads just as they were building momentum, with Mario Lemina and Jean-Clair Todibo given their marching orders within the space of two minutes.
Nice’s lack of discipline allowed Clermont to comfortably see out the closing stages and end their seven-game wait for a Ligue 1 clean sheet, while Les Aiglons have now only won two of their previous 10 away league games.
Winless on their return to Ligue 1 before kickoff, Auxerre travelled south in the knowledge they had won just one of their last 20 top-flight away games. The early signs suggested there was little chance of the visitors correcting that record, with Montpellier the better side across the early stages. An instinctive finish from Arnaud Nordin looked to have given the home side the advantage, only for an offside flag to cut the celebrations short.
The Montpellier fans wouldn’t be forced to wait long until they were on their feet again though, as Mamadou Sakho put the hosts in front on the brink of HT. Rising highest above the Auxerre defence, the former Liverpool defender expertly converted with his head, ensuring that Olivier Dall'Oglio’s side entered the break with a deserved lead.
A non-event for much of the opening 45 minutes, the contest sparked into life just moments into the second half, when Montpellier midfielder Khalil Fayad saw red soon after the break. Not content on making life easy for themselves, Auxerre would also be reduced to 10 men shortly after, with M'Baye Niang’s attempted header deemed reckless by referee Mathieu Vernice, setting the tone for an ill-tempered endgame.
Surrendering their man advantage didn’t harm Auxerre though, and it instead appeared to spark them into life, with the visitors scoring two quick-fire goals to tip the game on its head. First to strike was Nuno da Costa, who made no mistake in front of goal with a composed right-footed finish, and the comeback would be complete five minutes later, after referee Vernice pointed to the spot following a clumsy foul on Paul Joly. Knowing what was on the line, Mathias Autret bravely stepped up to convert from 12 yards.
A second yellow card for goalscorer da Costa provided a nervy finish for the visitors, but a similarly crazy moment of madness from Montpellier’s Téji Tedy Savanier ensured both sides finished with nine men on the pitch.
An extra week’s rest due to a postponement facilitated Lorient’s physical edge from the very outset, as they cruised to a lead inside only a couple of minutes following kick-off. Following a clumsy foul outside the penalty area, Torino target Armand Laurienté stepped up to strike a thunderous finish into the top left corner that bounced in off the crossbar, putting Les Merlus in front. Toulouse duly rallied, with Branco van den Boomen and Rasmus Nicolaisen both coming close to levelling scores before the midway point of the first period, but the hosts were already growing visibly frustrated and needed an immediate shift in momentum.
A quick counter-attack by the home side following a failed one by Les Merlus changed the complexion of the match 15 minutes before HT. Taken aback by the agility and quickness of Philippe Montanier’s men, Lorient were forced into a defensive error, taking advantage when Rafael Ratão pounced on the loose ball from close range and made it 1-1. Lorient were suitably stunned, but responded well to earn a penalty. However, Terem Moffi failed to convert with his shot towards the bottom left corner, which was exquisitely saved by Maxime Dupé.
Having avoided conceding an equaliser at any point during their last nine Ligue 1 matches, Lorient found themselves in uncharted territory going into the second half. Toulouse upped the ante heading into the 60th minute mark, with Dallinga forcing Dupé into a point-blank save off a header, before the Dutchman handed his side the lead.
Toulouse looked set for victory, as Lorient had failed to threaten the home side effectively, coming short time and again in the final-third. But Les Merlus remained stubborn all the same, and struck gold 10 minutes before FT, when goalscorer Laurienté was brought down by a cynical foul in the 18-yard-box. Substitute Ibrahima Koné effortlessly lodged the spot-kick into the right hand side, giving the keeper no chance of saving.
Despite rescuing a point, Lorient maintain their poor league record as travelling underdogs spanning back to the start of the 2021/22 campaign (W3, D7, L11). Meanwhile, Toulouse will be disappointed for not stealing away all three points following a spirited performance.