• France's news in English

Monaco return to top despite PSG win

AFP/The Local · 30 Sep 2013, 08:27

Published: 30 Sep 2013 08:27 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Monaco moved back to the summit of Ligue 1 on Sunday despite being held to a 1-1 at Reims as the momentum swung again at the top in France.

After Antoine Devaux had given the Champagne-region outfit a shock fourth-minute lead with a close range header, Portuguese international Joao Moutinho opened his season's scoring account with a brilliant free-kick that flew inside the near post nine minutes later.

Up until Sunday, Colombian Radamel Falcao and Frenchman Emmanuelle Riviere had scored all of Monaco's goals in the league.

Reims almost snatched a shock winner in the 86th minute but Togo international Floyd Ayite was denied by Monaco's Croatian 'keeper Danijel Subasic despite being clear on goal.

In a feisty finale, Reims had Atlia Turan sent off for a second bookable offence with two minutes left, but Monaco were unable to capitalise.

Claudio Ranieri's men however, have seen their two-point cushion at the top slashed to goal difference over Paris Saint-Germain who defeated Toulouse 2-0 on Saturday, as both clubs ended the weekend's action with identical records of five victories and three draws.

"We gave up a stupid goal early in the match and it's the second time we've started badly," explained Monaco captain Eric Abidal.

"It was important to be collective and efficient and we didn't do that.  Reims played well and tryed to catch us on the counter but we just weren't clinical in front of goal.

"Even when they were down to ten men, they still created chances."

Marseille are in third on 17 points with Lille and Nice in fourth and fifth respectively, just ahead of Nantes and Saint-Etienne.

Promoted Nantes continued their fine start to the campaign earlier on Sunday with a display reminiscent of the style that made them eight-time champions as they defeated Rennes 3-1.

The afternoon kick-off at Rennes's Stade de la Route de l'Orient produced a feisty derby that was eventually taken over by the 'Canaries' thanks to strikes from Filip Djordjevic, Serge Gakpe and an injury time clincher from Lucas Deaux.

"We had a very good first half and produced good play and created good chances," said their 50-year-old Armenian-French coach Michel Der Zakarian.

"We should have been 3-0 up at half-time because we should have had a clear penalty and after we had a black spell at the start of the second half," he added.

His slick passing formation outwitted their hosts in midfield and which led to Djordjevic's headed opener after just 17 minutes.

In front of a crowd of some 25,000, Rennes, who suffered only their second league defeat, pushed forward in search of an equaliser only to slip further behind with a brilliant Nantes second on the stroke of half-time.

Togo international Gakpe cut into the box before turning two defenders inside out and then hooking a low shot around Rennes 'keeper Benoit Costil and into the far corner.

Story continues below…

Nelson Oliveira then broke through for Rennes on 55 minutes after the ball pin-balled into his path and he made no mistake with his one-on-one duel against Nantes number one Remy Riou to pull it back to 2-1.

Der Zakarian's men then had to endure a nerve shredding finale before Lucas Deaux finished off a counter-attack deep into injury time to make the scoreline 3-1.

Fabrizio Ravanelli's Ajaccio side followed their first win of the season against Lyon in midweek with a hard earned 1-1 draw at home to 2012 champions Montpellier.

The Corsican side went behind when Ajaccio-born midfielder Remy Cabella converted a ninth minute penalty before grabbing a share of the points with Ronald Zubar's header 10 minutes before the break.

Don't miss stories like this - join us on Facebook and Twitter

AFP/The Local (dan.macguill@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

UK border must move back, says 'next French president'
Photo: AFP

If favourite Alain Juppé is elected, Britain and France are in for some difficult negotiations.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available