Week 2 Review: PSG stunned by Rennes as OL surge clear
Paris Saint-Germain suffered their second defeat in three games against Stade Rennais FC, while Olympique Lyonnais pulled clear at the top of the table with a 6-0 thrashing of Angers SCO.
Rennes dealt out the biggest shock of the weekend, beating champions PSG 2-1 on Sunday night. The Bretons, who also defeated the capital club in the Coupe de France final in April, fell behind to Edinson Cavani's first-half opener, but goals from Mbaye Niang and Romain Del Castillo sealed a famous victory at Roazhon Park, in which 16-year-old Eduardo Camavinga put in a superlative display from central midfield.
PSG had made the journey without Neymar Jr., the Brazilian not deemed fit enough following his recent struggles with a metatarsal injury, but most of the team who took until December last season to drop points remained. Coach Thomas Tuchel has rejected any claims of crisis at the capital club, however.
"It was a difficult game but we expected it to be," he said at his post-match press conference. "I don't think there's a psychological problem. We didn't get asked this after the Trophée des Champions or the game against Nîmes [PSG beat Nîmes 3-0 on the opening day]. Last year we won everything and there were some games we were lucky to win. As for Neymar, unless we sign someone else he won't leave. That's clear. If he stays we have a player who can help us win games. We can play better than we did today, but we were also missing [Thilo] Kehrer, [Ander] Herrera, Neymar and [Presnel] Kimpembe. We need to remain patient and confident. We can't question everything after one bad result."
Lyon flying under Sylvinho
League leaders Lyon had kicked off Week 2 on Friday with a 6-0 thrashing of Angers. Memphis Depay and Moussa Dembélé each bagged a brace at the Groupama Stadium as Les Gones racked up their biggest home win since beating Le Mans FC 8-1 back in 2006, when sporting director Juninho was still playing for the club. New manager Sylvinho was reluctant to get carried away with the result, despite the impressive scoreline, though.
"I'm happier with my players than I am with the result," he said. "It's a performance that shows the team is still under construction. We played really well today, but we're still a work in progress, I must insist on that. My ideas have been understood, but there really is still room for improvement."
Nice match OL's 100 percent record
OGC Nice the only other club with a perfect haul of six points from the opening two games. Patrick Vieira's men beat Nîmes Olympique 2-1 at the Stade des Costières, with Ignatius Ganago earning Wylan Cyprien's penalty before finding the target himself thanks to a Cyprien assist. Cyprien then conceded a penalty at the other end, converted by Renaud Ripart, to become the first player in six years to score a penalty, assist, and concede a spot-kick in the same game. That Nice held on for 40 minutes with 10 men following Racine Coly's red card also augurs well for Les Aiglons.
"After [the] red card, we had to show character and solidarity," said Arsenal legend Vieira after the game, equal parts relieved and delighted. "We leave Nîmes with three points and that's fine. We were rewarded for our hard work. Tonight, my group was exceptional. We showed real quality in our game. We were brave when we went a man down and that's part of the strength of this group."
Monaco misery mounts at Metz
At the other end of the table, AS Monaco's recent travails show no sign of abating, the 2017 champions losing 3-0 at promoted FC Metz, with Habib Diallo scoring twice. Ruben Aguilar was given his marching orders past the half-hour for the principality side, but with new signing Wissam Ben Yedder struggling for fitness and Radamel Falcao watching on from sidelines, Monaco never looked close to picking up their first points of the season.
"It's a difficult start," lamented coach Leonardo Jardim, who had seen his side beaten by the same scoreline by Lyon on the opening day. "We worked hard for six weeks getting the team into shape and today we had other players who we had to integrate. Our goal is to work together and overcome these difficulties. If you lose two or three games it becomes a negative cycle but we'll try to become competitive quickly. Falcao had problems and wasn't medically fit to play today. Ben Yedder probably wouldn't have started, rather blooded bit by bit, but that's how it goes sometimes."
Payet in the dock
Things didn't go much better for Olympique de Marseille on Saturday. André Villas-Boas' side were largely bossed by FC Nantes at the Stade de la Beaujoire, although they were given a glimmer of hope just past the half-hour when Abdoulaye Touré handballed in the area. Club captain and designated penalty-taker Dmitri Payet let Dario Benedetto take it, though, and the Argentine missed, leaving Villas Boas apoplectic.
"I told the guys that this was the first and last time that this happens," said the Portuguese tactician. "We have Dim there to take penalties, we've practiced them throughout pre-season. Obviously, it's difficult to accept, it was done with a good intention. Normally Dario might put them away, but not today."
Sainté's blushes spared
Metz's fellow promoted side Stade Brestois 29 looked to be on course for a victory of their own on Sunday when Lyon-born Julien Faussurier fired them into a first-half lead at AS Saint-Etienne which they protected until seven minutes from time, but Denis Bouanga's persistence paid off late on, sparing Sainté's blushes.
"The first feeling we have is disappointment at not winning," said ASSE coach Ghislain Printant, whose side had 19 shots on goal compared to Brest's nine on theirs. "But I was pleased with the players' reaction in the second half. They were more precise and created more chances in the second half. The players are still getting to know each other and will improve in the coming games."
LOSC lose again
Last season's runners up LOSC remain without win after falling to a 1-0 defeat at Amiens SC. Boubakary Soumaré was sent off after 39 minutes and Les Licornes took advantage late on when Sehrou Guirassy turned home Gaël Kakuta's low cross.
"It was important to pick up points at the start of our season, in front of our home fans," said Luka Elsner, who succeeded Christophe Pélissier as coach in the summer. "This win wasn't down to chance. We showed some really positive things. We have to remain humble with this win but also come away with some confidence. Gaël Kakuta played well. He wanted to play. He's a special talent but also a team player."
Elsewhere, Andy Delort and Josh Maja exchanged goals as Girondins de Bordeaux battled back against Montpellier Hérault SC, avoiding defeat for the first time in four home games with a 1-1 draw; Toulouse edged Dijon FCO 1-0 thanks to Jean-Victor Makengo's winner, and Stade de Reims and RC Strasbourg Alsace wrestled to a goalless draw at the Stade Auguste Delaune.