In a blistering start to the game, Arthur Theate and Matteo Guendouzi both sent the ball over the crossbar from promising opportunities. Pau López was the first goalkeeper to be given a true test and the Spaniard was equal to Joe Rodon’s header. There were no signs of proceedings slowing down as the quarter-hour mark passed and Nuno Tavares flashed a venomous effort wide of the post. The loanee got a strike on target soon after but was denied by Steve Mandanda, who was facing the side he’d represented over 600 times.
After all of that action, the opener arrived in a bizarre fashion in the 25th minute as Hamari Traoré’s low cross hit Guendouzi and then Lopez before grazing the crossbar and trickling over the line. Amine Gouri had a wonderful chance to add a quickfire second having nipped in to steal Jonathan Clauss’ underhit pass, but failed to squeeze his effort past the goalkeeper. Marseille had pushed for an equaliser before HT and started the second period on the front foot, although Rodon’s outstretched leg robbed Alexis Sánchez of a leveller.
Guendouzi brought it upon himself to make amends for his own goal, turning Jordan Veretout’s corner delivery past Mandanda with his head in the 52nd minute to restore parity. Not content with a draw, Les Olympiens searched for another with Igor Tudor introducing Dimitri Payet and Cengiz Ünder from the bench. Although, Jérémy Doku offered a reminder that Rennes could pose a threat of their own, coming close twice in quick succession.
The final stages were a real battle as Arnaud Kalimuendo required treatment moments after being introduced, but neither side was able to edge ahead. This meant that Marseille’s unbeaten start to the Ligue 1 season continues, while Rennes are still waiting for their first away league win this term.
Brest - AC Ajaccio 0-1
After a sluggish start to the season, both Brest and Ajaccio found themselves in the bottom three coming into this clash. Neither side could particularly claim they dominated the opening stages, with tepid possession in non-threatening areas making up the lion's share of the opening half-hour. The best chance of the half undoubtedly fell the way of Brest, but Islam Slimani’s fierce drive was beaten away by substitute goalkeeper Ghjuvanni Quilichini, but only back to the feet of the Algerian who failed to steer the rebound goalwards.
For fans of entertainment, this certainly wasn’t the game, as we hit the hour mark with no notable goalmouth action besides Slimani’s two strikes. Given Ajaccio are the side Brest have faced more often than any other in Ligue 1 without winning, perhaps it was no surprise to see perennial strugglers Brest finding it difficult to find that elusive goal. Having had a penalty appeal waved away at one end, Brest were punished in fine fashion at the other end, as the deadlock was finally broken when Riad Nouri laid the ball on a plate for Romain Hamouma to tap home the opener.
For those hoping the goal would’ve breathed new life into the game - it didn’t - with Brest not really spurred into life by falling. Defeat is undoubtedly disappointing for Brest, though there is a saving grace in the fact that Ajaccio still sit below them in the table in spite of the victory. The day belonged to the visitors though, certainly not edging a thriller, but just doing enough to end a run of seven top-flight away defeats.
With three straight head-to-head victories over Troyes, Clermont had every right to be confident about continuing their positive start to the season heading into this fixture. Clermont skipper Johan Gastien wasn’t lacking any confidence, leading by example from the off and saw his deflected effort beat the hapless Gauthier Gallon to make it 1-0 inside three minutes.
The hosts were in complete control for the next 20 minutes until Mateusz Wieteska was criminally caught napping on the ball by Mama Baldé. The forward, who couldn’t believe his luck, got the better of Mory Diaw in a one-on-one to score his fourth goal of the season, bettering his total tally for last season in only eight games. The momentum of the match swung the visitors' way following their equaliser and they should have been in front at the break after youngster Wilson Odobert struck the post in stoppage time.
Troyes came flying out of the blocks after the restart and deservedly took the lead through a devastating counter-attack, culminating once again with Baldé having plenty of time to pick his spot, beating Diaw to make it 2-1. Despite retaining over 60% of the ball, Clermont struggled to create any chances with a platter of crosses and shots going well wide of any danger areas. Baldé turned provider to confirm all three points for the visitors when he put Renaud Ripart through on goal who made no mistake with an empathic finish for 3-1.
Troyes’ first victory over Clermont in four matches sees them leapfrog the hosts in the table into 10th on goal difference, as the side tipped for relegation continue to impress in Ligue 1.
The game got off to a bizarre start as Nice found themselves down to 10 men after a matter of seconds, as Jean-Clair Todibo was deemed to have fouled Abdallah Sima. Despite their one-man deficit it was the hosts that nearly took the lead, as Nicolas Pépé went close, but he could only slide his effort narrowly wide of the post. Angers had a good opportunity from a corner, as Dante tried to head it clear, but it only went as far as Sima, who couldn't keep his header down. Sofiane Diop had an opportunity for Les Aiglons, as Pépé’s floated corner was headed towards Diop, but he could only direct his header into the arms of Yahia Fofana.
Diop then tried his luck again from range, but his shot was fairly comfortable for Fofana. Angers were trying to make their one-man advantage count and very nearly did so, as Adrien Hunou was denied by Marcin Bułka from the edge of the six-yard box before the rebound was blocked by Dante. Le SCO got the goal they deserved just before HT when the ball fell to Nabil Bentaleb on the edge of the box, allowing the Algerian to lash a shot into the top corner.
Angers started the second half on the front foot as they looked to double their lead, with Sofiane Boufal working himself into a promising position before unleashing a shot from outside the area that Bułka was equal to. Nice had a golden opportunity to equalise as Andy Delort stretched to get on the end of a beautiful cross into the box, but the Algerian could only direct his header wide of the post. The visitors also found themselves down to 10 men with 30 minutes left to play, as Boufal received a second yellow card for simulation after going down in the penalty area.
Delort nearly brought the hosts level, but Fofana was on hand to tip his header onto the bar. Nice began to see more chances arise, as Delort again tested the keeper as he cut in from the left, but his tame effort was saved. Les Aiglons continued to push for an equaliser through Ross Barkley’s corner, which met the head of Delort, but the ball went straight into the arms of Fofana. Despite the late pressure from Nice, Angers managed to hold on for all three points to climb out of the relegation places and up to 14th, level on points with their hosts in 13th.
Flashscore Man of the Match: Nabil Bentaleb (Angers SCO)