UEFA Cup joy for French clubs

UEFA Europa League


Ligue 1 recorded a perfect four-from-four in Thursday's UEFA Cup first round, first leg matches with Paris Saint-Germain, Saint-Etienne, Nancy and Rennes all recording wins.

 Kayserispor 1-2 Paris Saint-Germain

Paris Saint-Germain coach Paul Le Guen made a series of changes to his regular starting XI and the side took a few minutes to settle, with Kayserispor forward Eren hitting Mickaël Landreau's right-hand upright with a powerful curling effort.

However, former Fenerbahçe striker Mateja Kezman needed just five minutes to open the scoring upon his return to Turkey - his second goal in four days for new club PSG after scoring last weekend's winner against Nantes in Ligue 1. Kezman was on hand to chest home a Jérôme Rothen cross, flicked on by Sammy Traoré at the near post.

With PSG cruising towards a comfortable victory, Kayserispor right-back Toledo popped up to fire home a loose ball in the penalty box with just two minutes left on the clock.

However, Peguy Luyindula, making his first competitive start of the season, re-established the visitor's lead in the first minute of stoppage time with a clinical finish after being sent through on goal.

PSG Line-up: Landreau; Cearà, Bourillon, Traoré, Armand (c); Pancrate, Clément (Makelele 62), Sankharé, Rothen; Luyindula, Kezman (Arnaud 77)

 Hapoel Tel Aviv 1-2 Saint-Etienne

Making their return to European competition after an absence of over 26 years, Les Verts needed just seven minutes to take the lead away to Hapoel Tel Aviv when winger Dmitri Payet fired home after a long-range one-two with Blaise Matuidi.

Pascal Feindouno, dropped for last weekend's 2-0 loss to Caen in Ligue 1, returned to the starting line-up and paid back coach Laurent Roussey by doubling the visitors' lead in the 6st minute after Bafetimbi Gomis has won back possession and laid the scoring opportunity on a plate to the Guinea international.

Second-half substitute Lala, then gave the Israeli side a glimmer of hope ahead of the return trip to the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard with a late consolation lob in the 88th minute.

Saint-Etienne Line-up: Viviani; Perrin (c), Tavlaridis (Varrault 46), Monsoreau, Dabo (Sauget 65); Landrin, Matuidi; Payet, Feindouno, Dernis; Gomis

 Rennes 2-1 FC Twente

Visiting Dutch side FC Twente, coached by former England boss Steve McLaren, made the perfect start against Rennes when striker Denneboom, lobbing Nicolas Douchez with a good header.

However, Rennes were back on level terms before the half-time break with Stéphane M'Bia, underlining why the Brittany club were so desperate to keep hold of him for another year, headering home a 36th-minute corner.

Five minutes into the second half, USA international Carlos Bocanegra headed home a Jérôme Leroy free-kick from close range, in a match which featured the return of Sylvain Wiltord to Guy Lacombe's starting XI.

Rennes Line-up: Douchez; Fanni, Mangane, Hansson, Bocanegra; Sorlin, M'Bia; Wiltord (Echiéjilé 85), Leroy, Danzé (Pagis 58); Briand (Sow 71)

 Nancy 1-0 Motherwell

Nancy enjoyed the lion's share of possession against a defensive Motherwell side, scoring the only goal of the game in the 41st minute when Pascal Bérenguer (pictured) headed home a cross from the right-back Jean Calvé.

Nancy did, however, miss a penalty in the 72nd minute after Julien Féret was brought down in the area. France Under-21 international Issiar Dia stepped up to dispatch the spot kick, expertly turned away by Smith in the Motherwell goal - one of a series of impressive stops made by the Scottish 'keeper in the second half.

Nancy Line-up: Bracigliano (c); Calvé, Macaluso, Ouaddou, Brison; Chrétien, Bérenguer; Helder, Féret (N'Guémo 87), Malonga (Fortuné 56); Zerka

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