PSG president’s car attacked after Nantes win

PSG's thumping win over Nantes on Sunday was overshadowed when the Qatari president Nasser Al-Khelaifi's car was targeted by hooligans. Elsewhere in Ligue 1 Marseille slumped to another dismal defeat.

PSG president's car attacked after Nantes win
Nasser al-Khelaifi's car was attacked by hooligans after PSG's victory at Nantes on Sunday. Photo: AFP

Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi's car came under fire from a barrage of stones as he left Nantes'
Stade de la Beaujoire on Saturday, according to reports on Sunday.

Champions PSG had extended their lead at the top of Ligue 1 following a 4-1 victory but “around 20 fans from the Brigade Loire group” pelted the Qatari chief's car as he left, according to newspaper Le Parisien.

“The management of FC Nantes apologises to the Paris Saint-Germain president and condemns the actions of several individuals who attacked the Parisian official's car as it left the stadium,” said a statement on Nantes'

Police in Nantes confirmed to AFP that stones had been thrown at a car by “unknown individuals”.

However, Le Parisien claimed the missiles were thrown at the car because the attackers thought Nantes president Waldemar Kita was inside.

Nantes condemned the accusations made against the Brigade Loire supporters' group, which also claimed on the club's website that they had nothing to do with the attack.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani, Angel Di Maria and Serge Aurier scored the goals for PSG as the reigning champions came from behind to win the game.

Ben Arfa inspires Nice win

Elsewhere in Ligue 1 Hatem Ben Arfa produced two moments of magic as nine-man Nice romped to a 4-1 victory away at Saint-Etienne on Sunday, preventing their opponents from closing the gap on Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain.

Vincent Koziello had given Nice an early lead at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, but Loic Perrin soon equalised for Saint-Etienne, converting the rebound after a Fabien Lemoine shot crashed back off the bar.

That was when Ben Arfa intervened, volleying past Stephane Ruffier and into the far corner of the net to put the visitors back in front in the 39th minute.

Even better was to come a minute prior to the interval as Ben Arfa, who started out at Saint-Etienne's bitter rivals Lyon, dribbled into the box past several challenges and dispatched a low shot across Ruffier.

The goals were confirmation that France international Ben Arfa is flourishing again in his homeland after a disappointing spell in England with Newcastle United and then Hull City followed by six months out of the game earlier this year.

Jean-Michael Seri put Nice further ahead following a counter-attack led by Valere Germain, before Nampalys Mendy and Maxime Le Marchand were both sent off in the final half-hour.

The latter walked after conceding a penalty that was missed by Jean-Christophe Bahebeck as Nice claimed a third win in just over a week following a 3-1 victory at Bastia and a 6-1 thumping of Bordeaux.

Nice are up to seventh while Saint-Etienne remain second, four points behind leaders and defending champions Paris Saint-Germain, who won 4-1 at Nantes on Saturday.

Marseille slump again

Elsewhere on Sunday, Marseille's poor start to the season continued with a 2-1 defeat at home to promoted Angers.

Goals from Thomas Mangani, a penalty, and Romain Thomas had Marseille in deep trouble at the Stade Velodrome before Michy Batshuayi reduced the deficit 11 minutes from time, again from the spot.

The result left Michel's struggling side down in the bottom half of the table, just four points above the relegation zone.

“We played very badly in the first half, that's not the way to start a match,” moaned Michel.

“We weren't in the match and were below par for many minutes. We lacked creativity and penetration. I can't explain it but we'll have to find a solution.”

Angers continued their impressive return to the top flight after an absence of 21 years as they moved into fifth, level on points with third-placed Rennes.

“Fifteen points after eight matches is crazy,” said Angers coach Stephane Moulin.

“We're not crazy, we know Marseille are better than us, individually and collectively, but in football little teams can make life difficult for the big ones.

It was a disastrous outcome for Marseille to a peculiar match in which the Velodrome was empty at both ends due to a punishment related to last weekend's incidents during the 1-1 draw with Lyon, in which several Marseille fans threw missiles at police and onto the pitch.

Later on, a lucky goal from Nicolas Benezet a minute from time denied Monaco victory as Guingamp snatched a 3-3 draw in Brittany.

Having won 3-2 at Montpellier on Thursday, Monaco looked on course for a second successive away victory but despite taking the lead three times in the match, through Bernardo Silva, Andrea Raggi and Nabil Dirar, the hosts pegged them back each time thanks to Sloan Privat and a Benezet brace, the last of which appeared to be a cross that sliced into the net at the near post.

Montpellier, the 2012 champions, got their first win of the season in a 2-1 victory over mid-table Lorient.

Jonas Martin hit the winner in the 57th minute after Lorient's Raffidine Abdullah — who was later sent off — had cancelled out Ramy Bensebaini's opener, although Montpellier remain in the bottom three.

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‘Not football’s job’ to combat homophobia: French football chief

The head of French football has pulled away from a hardline stance against homophobic chanting and banners in stadiums on Friday, saying that "too many matches" have been stopped due to anti-gay abuse.

'Not football's job' to combat homophobia: French football chief

Noel Le Graet, president of the French Football Federation (FFF), said that the FFF would not instruct referees to stop matches except in cases when a “whole stadium” was guilty of homophobic chanting.

“I think we're stopping too many matches! That makes certain government ministers happy, but it bothers me. Football can't be taken hostage by vulgarity,” said Le Graet in an interview with newspaper Ouest-France.

Several matches have been temporarily halted in France this season after the French football League (LFP) introduced over the summer plans to tackle fan homophobia during matches, including allowing referees to stop games.

“Matches have been stopped when they shouldn't have been,” Le Graet continued.

“We will stop them if there is consistent homophobic abuse from the whole ground, but if among 30,000 people there are 2,000 imbeciles I don't see why the other 28,000 should be punished.”

Le Graet referred to France's sports minister Roxana Maracineanu, who in April launched the appeal for matches to be stopped in the event of homophobic abuse, and equalities minister Marlene Schiappa.

Schiappa publicly praised referee Clement Turpin after he stopped Marseille's 2-1 win at Nice for over 10 minutes last month following sustained abusive chanting and banners from home fans, but Le Graet insisted that it wasn't football's job to combat homophobia.

Paris Saint-Germain's match at Metz two days later was also briefly halted for a banner unfurled by the hosts' supporters asking the French league (LFP) to allow them to aim homophobic chants at PSG.

“Did football invent homophobia? You can be a know-it-all when you have got much to say. But there are more important political issues,” he said.

“This crisis will resolve itself. We will work with club presidents, people who don't stick their oar in every morning, who don't want to just look good in front of the television cameras.”