Lyon Slip up in Rain as OM Win again
Marseille continued their excellent start to the Ligue 1 season on Saturday with a hard-earned win at Valenciennes, but Lyon completed a miserable week by suffering a shock home loss to Reims.
A late goal from Andre-Pierre Gignac gave OM a 1-0 win in France's far north before Lyon lost to Reims by the same scoreline at the Stade de Gerland in a game interrupted for more than half an hour by torrential rain and which saw the hosts miss a second-half penalty.
Gignac turned in the loose ball with just five minutes remaining after Valenciennes goalkeeper Nicolas Penneteau had failed to hold Andre Ayew's header on Saturday afternoon.
The goal was Gignac's third in as many games this season and came in between shocking misses at the other end by substitutes Aurelian Chitu and Opa Nguette as Marseille gained revenge for a 4-1 thumping suffered at the same Stade du Hainaut last season.
"At the start of the season it is important to get points on the board and it also helps us prepare for a difficult month of September when the games will come thick and fast," said Marseille coach Elie Baup, whose side entertain Monaco in a potential cracker next weekend.
"We got a spanking here last year and we didn't want a repeat of that."
Marseille end Saturday provisionally two points clear of Monaco at the summit after the principality club could only manage a 0-0 draw with Toulouse on Friday in a match played behind closed doors at the Stade Louis II.
Lyon could have gone back to the top on goal difference if they had beaten Reims, but Remi Garde's side endured another nightmare evening at the Stade de Gerland.
After losing 2-0 at home to Real Sociedad in the first leg of their Champions League play-off on Tuesday to severely compromise their chances of qualifying for the group stage, OL failed to reproduce the form that had seen them win their first two Ligue 1 games of the season in style.
They had struggled to create chances in the first half before the ceaseless downpour forced the officials to delay the start of the second period by 35 minutes.
When play finally recommenced, Yoann Gourcuff almost got the breakthrough from a fiercely struck free-kick and then Alexandre Lacazette hit the bar from close range.
The hosts were then awarded a penalty when substitute Jordan Ferri was bundled over in the box, but Clement Grenier contrived to blast the award over the bar.
Reims then twisted the knife by snatching all three points when Odair Fortes' cross from the left deflected off Milan Bisevac and looped into the net.
"It is very tough to come away with nothing. A draw would have been fairer," said Garde.
"We just lacked a little bit of luck in the second half, everyone could see that. We were much the better side, and Reims scored with their only shot of the second period.
"We need to grin and bear it and keep working. The better days will return."
Elsewhere on Saturday, Rennes moved up to fifth with their second win in three games under new coach Philippe Montanier as Portuguese striker Nelson Oliveira scored twice in a 2-1 win away to Evian in Annecy.
Bordeaux recorded their first win of the campaign, beating Bastia 1-0 courtesy of a beautifully-struck Henri Saivet free-kick in the first half, while Montpellier also grabbed a morale-boosting victory.
The 2012 champions came from behind to beat 10-man Sochaux 2-1 with Vitorino Hilton scoring a marvellous equaliser before Siaka Tiene's injury-time clincher.
And promoted Guingamp claimed their first points of the campaign with a 2-0 win against Lorient in a Brittany derby, last season's second-tier top scorer Mustapha Yatabare scoring both goals.
Saint-Etienne go to Lille and Ajaccio host Nice on Sunday before reigning champions Paris Saint-Germain, who have drawn their opening two matches, travel to promoted Nantes.