Matchday 3: Saturday round-up

Ligue 1 Conforama


BOUDEWIJN Zenden (pictured in defensive action) scored the winner as Marseille beat Le Havre to move to the top of the table. Caen came from behind to earn a point at Monaco and PSG shared the spoils at Sochaux...

Saturday, 23 August 2008

 Le Havre 0-1 Marseille 

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Boudewijn Zenden scored his second free-kick in as many weeks to earn Marseille a 1-0 win at Le Havre. But after the tragic coach crash involving their fans on the way to the match (see separate story) they were in no mood to celebrate.

Understandably, in the circumstances, Eric Gerets' side were far from their best at Stade Jules Deschaseaux - but Zenden's second-half goal was enough to give them the points.

The Dutchman's 56th-minute strike, which left Le Havre goalkeeper Christophe Revault no chance, followed his stunning free-kick goal against Auxerre last week. It was probably what Marseille deserved, given they dominated a game of few chances.

Before the goal Mamadou Niang had the best chance to break the deadlock, seeing Revault save his acrobatic effort in the first-half. After that Marseille struggled to breach the hosts' defence, even when Hatem Ben Arfa came off the bench.

Marseille centre-half Ronald Zubar was sent off in injury time at the end of the game but that came too late for Le Havre to find a way back into the match.

  Valenciennes 3-1 Lorient  

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Valenciennes turned in their most polished performance of the season to earn a convincing 3-1 victory over Lorient at Stade Nungesser.

The home side - whose defender David Sommeil suffered a heart attack on Wednesday and remains seriously ill in hospital - took a second-minute lead through Gregory Pujol and never looked like relinquishing their grip on the game.

Johan Audel added a second before half-time thanks to another excellent ball from midfielder Gael Danic who set up both Valenciennes' opener. Even when Kevin Gameiro pulled a goal back for the visitors in the 51st minute, Valenciennes remained in control. Luigi Pieroni re-established their two-goal lead when he netted for the first time in Valenciennes colours with a minute remaining.

 Sochaux 1-1 PSG  

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Sochaux got their first point of the season with a hard-earned 1-1 draw at home to PSG.

The hosts took the lead four minutes into the second-half when Mevlut Erding scored his second goal of the season from the penalty spot after PSG defender Mamadou Sakho tripped him up in the area. It took the visitors only 14 minutes to hit back, however, as Stephane Sessegnon scored his first goal for the club.

Ludovic Giuly, another summer signing, provided the chance with a neat ball into the centre and former Le Mans player Sessegnon finished with a magnificent drive that gave goalkeeper Teddy Richert no chance.

Sochaux came closest to scoring a winner when Nicolas Maurice-Belay saw his long-range shot bounce back off a post late on. PSG's new signing Mateja Kezman came on to make his debut towards the end of the match but was unable to make the difference in a game that neither side deserved to lose.

 Monaco 1-1 Caen  

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It was honours shared at Stade Louis II as Caen mounted a late comeback to earn a point against Monaco.

Frederic Nimani gave the hosts the lead with his second goal in three games but Monaco's Croatia international midfielder Jerko Leko put through his own net with 16 minutes remaining to give the visitors a share of the spoils.

During an open first-half, Nimani nearly broke the deadlock on 17 minutes when he burst into the penalty area and hit a powerful shot that came back off the bar. Caen contributed fully to an entertaining match, but fell behind when Dario Simic, making his debut at centre-half after signing for the Principality club from AC Milan, released Nimani with a clever through ball. The teenager lobbed over Caen goalkeeper Vincente Plante to give the hosts the lead.

Caen hit back when Leko headed into his own net following a Caen free-kick. Not long earlier Nimani had missed a golden chance to kill off the game when he shot wide.

Freddy Adu came on to make his Monaco debut with six minutes remaining, but was unable to earn his second their second home victory of the season

 Le Mans 1-0 St Etienne  

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Le Mans made it two wins from two with a thoroughly deserved 1-0 victory over St Etienne at Stade Leon-Bollee.

For the second week running they upset highly-fancied opponents - and, just happened in their 3-1 win over Lille last Saturday, Norwegian pair Fredrik Stromstad and Thorstein Helstad who did the damage

The pair combined for Le Mans' 38th-minute winner. Stromstad headed into Helstad's path and the striker, who, like his compatriot, arrived at the club this summer, blasted home his second goal of the season.

St Etienne were unable to mount a comeback in the second-half as their away-day woes continued. They lost 1-0 at Valenciennes on the opening day and coach Laurent Roussey will be concerned at the lack of service to striker Bafetimbi Gomis on their travels.

 Nancy 0-0 Toulouse  

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Nancy made it three games without victory as they played out a dour 0-0 draw with Toulouse at Stade Marcel-Picot.

The visitors were the better side as Pablo Correa's hosts continued their poor start to the season. The Uruguayan boss has now seen his team twice draw 0-0, either side of a 2-1 defeat at Nice last week.

Toulouse had the better chances to win the game, with Pierre-Andre Gignac lively up front and ably supported by Paulo Cesar and Fode Mansare. The hosts went down to 10 men 13 minutes from the end when striker Issiar Dia was sent off for a foul on Toulouse captain Mauro Cetto - but that was the last of the action of the match as Toulouse were unable to make their numerical superiority count in the closing minutes despite remaining more likely to score.

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