PSG OM Florian Thauvin puts the winner past Sergio Rico in the Classique

Round 3 review: Classique boils over, Rennes go top

Publish on 14/09/2020 at 11:00 - S. WILLIS


The Classique ended in wild scenes as Marseille bagged a first win in Paris for nine years; meanwhile Rennes beat Nîmes 4-2 to go top, edging victorious Monaco and LOSC on goal difference.

It was a fiery end to Ligue 1 Uber Eats' Round 3 on Sunday night as referee Jérôme Brisard handed out five red cards - to Leandro Paredes, Dario Benedetto, Layvin Kurzawa, Jordan Amavi and then Neymar - as tensions passed boiling point in the dying seconds of the Classique.

An unfortunate denouement but it didn't overshadow the 1-0 result - Marseille's first win in official competition against bitter rivals PSG in Paris in nine years - secured by a resurgent Florian Thauvin.

Thauvin, Mandanda make the difference

The France international spent most of last season in the sidelines with an ankle injury, but he showed now lack of pace or technique as he beat PSG's defenders to the far post to calmly slot home Dimitri Payet's long free-kick past Sergio Rico first time (31').

Despite the wave of Covid absences in the Parisian ranks, Neymar and Angel Di Maria were back to add cutting edge to a side who had lost their season opener to Lens on Thursday. However, OM 'keeper Steve Mandanda was in scintillating form and produced a string of superb saves to keep the Parisians off the scoresheet.

First time in 42 years: PSG 0 for 2 

"Obviously it's a big joy to win here after so much time, I congratulate the players, they were huge today," said OM boss André Villas-Boas. "We started the game badly until we scored our goal. Dimitri [Payet] had a very good game even though PSG pressed and attacked well. It was his comeback after Covid and he played well. As for Steve [Mandanda], he was incredible."

"It's difficult to take," said PSG defender Presnel Kimpembe, who is likely to once again wear the captain's armband when PSG take on Metz in their postponed Round 1 fixture. "On the whole, we had a good match, but we weren't able to take our chances and it's a painful 0-1 defeat. We can say we were unlucky, but we were also up against a strong Mandanda. There isn't much to say. It's tough when you can't score, and we will need to face up to that."

Rennes on top

Earlier on Sunday, Julien Stéphan's Rennes ran out big 4-2 winners in Nîmes thanks to a standout debut from new signing Serhou Guirassy, who bagged a double (12', 39') before Nayef Aguerd (72') and Benjamin Bourigeaud (90') made sure that Andrès Cubas' first Ligue 1 Uber Eats strike (36') and Zinedine Ferhat's goal (55') were mere consolations.

"Nimes often put us under pressure, but today we were efficient," said Stéphan of the see-sawing encounter that saw his side take top spot on the Ligue 1 Uber Eats table. "We showed character, but we were also less in control than in our previous matches. Putting four goals here is a great performance. It's hard to win here, not many clubs will win here."

Top three neck-and-neck

The scoreline was enough to keep Rennes ahead of Monaco - who beat Nantes 2-1 - and LOSC - who trumped FC Metz 1-0 with a late goal from Luis Araujo - on goal difference despite all three sides having collected seven points from two win and a draw.

Bouanga fires

Just behind them on sixth are Claude Puel's Saint-Etienne, who had main man Denis Bouanga and youngster Mahdi Camara to thank for a 2-0 win over Strasbourg, who find themselves in bottom place after three defeats on the trot.

Buoyed by their mid-week win over Paris, Franck Haise's RC Lens moved sixth after trumping ten-man FC Lorient in 3-2 thriller that saw Ignatius Ganago hit a second winner in as many matches.

After consecutive wins to open the season, OGC Nice fell from top spot as they came unstuck 3-1 in Montpellier, defender Daniel Congré scoring his first Ligue 1 Uber Eats double in over a decade to add to a fine strike from Gaëtan Laborde.

Brest claimed what could prove a crucial 2-0 win in Dijon, Irvin Cardona capping the victory with a spectacular, acrobatic far-post finish, while Angers got the better of Reims 1-0 thanks to Stéphane Bahoken's lone strike.   

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