In-form Serhou Guirassy scored again as Stade Rennais moved back to the top of the Ligue 1 Uber Eats table with an impressive 3-0 win at AS Saint-Etienne on Saturday while only a late late Morgan Sanson equaliser saved Olympique de Marseille from a shock home defeat as they drew 1-1 with FC Metz.
After a winless two-game streak, OM were looking to pick up all three points against a Metz side that had only collected its first points of the campaign with a 2-1 defeat of Stade de Reims last time out.
Dimitri Payet should have put the hosts ahead on the quarter-hour mark, but after bustling his way into the penalty area, the France international shot over wastefully (15'). Dario Benedetto fired a rising first-time shot beyond the crossbar too (17') as OM struggled to find their range in the final third.
The visitors gave notice of the danger they could pose on the counter-attack when Habib Maïga's instant through ball sent Ibrahima Niane clear, but Steve Mandanda rushed from his goal to block the young Senegalese forward's lob (20').
An acrobatic Benedetto volley flew wide (39') as Marseille — just as they had against AS Saint-Etienne and LOSC Lille in their previous two home outings — toiled in the final third, and when they failed to up their attacking threat after the break, Metz capitalised.
Matthieu Udol's cross from the left found Niane in space between Duje Caleta-Car and Yuto Nagatomo, and he headed back across Mandanda to claim his third goal in two league games following his match-winning brace against Reims (71').
Maïga would have clinched a shock Metz win but for Mandanda, who brilliantly parried the Metz midfielder's close-range header, and OM managed to make the save count. After a patient build-up, substitute Nemanja Radonjic cut the ball back to Sanson, who followed an assured touch with an equally assured finish with the last kick of the game (90+5').
THE PLAYER: Habib Maïga
It was almost the perfect midfield performance from the Metz man, who combined aggression and passing quality in equal doses. Deserved a goal, and only denied one by a world-class Mandanda.
THE STAT: 3
It's the first time that OM have gone three Ligue 1 Uber Eats game without a win since this time last season.
AS SAINT-ÉTIENNE 0-3 STADE RENNAIS FC
The Breton club marked the 100th meeting of these two sides with a display that suggested they have improved significantly since coming third last season.
Saint-Etienne were unbeaten coming into the match — the first time they had picked up 10 points from their opening four matches of a top-flight campaign since 1979-80 — but they were blown away by Julien Stéphan's side.
Summer arrival Nayef Aguerd headed home a Benjamin Bourigeaud corner to put the visitors in front on 33 minutes. After Arnaud Nordin had had an equaliser ruled out for offside, Serhou Guirassy doubled Rennes' lead with an overhead kick (52') and claimed his third league goal of the season before Adrien Hunou, who replaced Guirassy in the closing stages, lobbed in a brilliant third with a minute left to take Rennes two points clear of LOSC Lille, who beat FC Nantes on Friday.