Saint-Etienne 2 – 2 Rennes
Strasbourg 1 – 2 Nantes
Marseille 2 – 0 Toulouse
Goals in each half from Florian Thauvin and Lucas Ocampos saw Olympique de Marseille deservedly see off Toulouse 2-0 to climb to fifth place.
Marseille’s third win in a row in all competitions without conceding was a step up from the way they’d played against Konyaspor in the Europa League and Amiens in Week 6 of Ligue 1 Conforama. Rudi Garcia again sent his side out in a 4-2-3-1 and the improved balance of the side allowed the attacking quartet to shine as they roamed the field in search of goals.
OM monopolised possession against a TFC that left six million euro forward Andy Delort on the bench. Jimmy Durmaz was the visitors’ only attacking spark before going off injured in the second half, whereas OM had Clinton Njie, Lucas Ocampos, Florian Thauvin and Dimitri Payet buzzing around.
Thauvin had a near-post shot saved in the 28thminute, Rolando headed a Payet corner narrowly over soon after and then the breakthrough came 12 minutes before the break as Thauvin converted after a goalmouth scramble.
Ola Toivonen’s deflected free-kick at the start of the second half ensured OM didn’t think the game was won as they attempted to extend their unbeaten Ligue 1 Conforama sequence against Toulouse to 11 matches. Thauvin went close on the hour and soon OM had their first set-piece goal of the season as Payet’s corner bounced off Ocampos’ leg and over the line.
Clinton Njie had a chance just before being replaced by Valère Germain, who almost opened his league account for his new club in the last minute, denied by a stunning Lafont save with his legs. In between times, Steve Mandanda ensured that his return from injury would result in a clean sheet as he made a fine stop from Yannick Cahuzac.
Jonathan Bamba scored his fourth goal of the season as AS Saint-Etienne came from behind twice to draw 2-2 with Stade Rennais FC at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard on Sunday.
Nantes scored twice for the first time under Claudio Ranieri as they won 2-1 at second-bottom Strasbourg. Nantes are in the top six of the Ligue 1
The first top division meeting of these two clubs in 11-and-a-half years saw an early goal as Strasbourg’s Nuno Da Costa marked his sixth Ligue 1 Conforama appearance with his first goal. The attacker beat Chidozie Awaziem at the front post to head home Jonas Martin’s delightful curled cross.
Nantes needed only three minutes to get back on terms and it was a goal that owed something to good fortune as Nicolas Pallois’ attempted shot turned into an assist for Adrien Thomasson as the midfielder swivelled on the ball to fire home his first of the season.
Chances came and went for both sides before visiting skipper Léo Dubois scored a 24thminute screamer. The right-back latched on to Benjamin Corgnet’s headed clearance of a Lima corner, controlled the ball and smashed home an unstoppable 35-metre shot.
Strasbourg could feel hard done by as they laid siege to the Nantes goal andLes Canarishad particular trouble defending set-pieces. Nantes could have put the game to bed 20 minutes from time only for Préjuce Nakoulma to fluff his lines.
In a crazy conclusion, Strasbourg had four major opportunities in the last 15 minutes yet failed to find a way past Ciprian Tatarasanu. When they did, in the third minute of added time, David Alcibiade was there to save his Romanian goalkeeper and deny Dimitri Lienard a goal.