Fekir’s hat trick powers Lyon past Caen; Lille Gazelec Ajaccio
France’s Nabil Fekir scored his first French league hat trick Saturday as last year’s runner-up Lyon won 4-0 at Caen to move provisionally second.
Fekir — who turned 22 last month – got his first in the 18th minute, tucking the ball across former Lyon goalkeeper Remy Vercoutre and into the bottom right corner following a lovely pass from Corentin Tolisso.
The duo combined again a minute from halftime. Fekir ran onto Tolisso’s long ball and bedazzled Caen defender Chaker Alhadhur before squeezing a shot in off the far post.
Tolisso also had a hand in the third, passing the ball to Mathieu Valbuena who set up Fekir for a first-time shot, shortly before the hour. Caen had defender Damien Da Silva sent off in the 73rd for a reckless tackle on Claudio Beauvue, capping a bad afternoon for the hosts.
Beauvue netted late on with a strike into the far top corner from a tricky angle.
Caen had threatened to level when the score was 1-0. Andy Delort sent a free kick crashing off the crossbar and Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes was forced into a string off fine saves.
Lyon moved second, two points behind Paris Saint-Germain, ahead of the rest of the weekend’s fixtures. It now has seven points from its opening four matches, one more than Caen.
Angers 1, Nice 1
Angers maintained their unbeaten start to the Ligue 1 season with a 1-1 draw at home to Nice.
Newly-promoted Angers have now won two and drawn two since moving up from Ligue 2 and occupy a top-four position with only Reims, Paris St Germain and Rennes above them in the standings. Midfielder Thomas Mangani gave Angers a 24th-minute lead against the run of play at the Stade Jean-Bouin and they continued to frustrate Nice for the rest of the first period.
But Nice claimed a point when Hatem Ben Arfa’s 56th-minute free-kick found Valere Germain and the striker finished with aplomb.
Troyes 0, Montpellier 0
Montpellier climbed off the bottom of Ligue 1 but Rolland Courbis’ side are still looking for their first goal of the season following a 0-0 draw at Troyes.
Kevin Berigaud felt he had ended Montpellier’s goal drought after 29 minutes but his 20-yard effort was spectacularly denied by Troyes’ Slovenian goalkeeper Denis Petric. Troyes’ best opening came three minutes into the second half when Lossemy Karaboue volley’s forced an excellent save from Jonathan Ligali.
Jonas Martin might have snatched all three points for Montpellier at the death but the draw took them above Ajaccio at the foot of the table.
Lille 1, Gazelec Ajaccio 0
Lille claimed their first Ligue 1 win of the season but their 1-0 victory against newly promoted Gazelec Ajaccio was far from straightforward.
Sofiane Boufal’s classy 23rd-minute finish from Djibril Sidibe’s pass proved the difference between the sides. The home team had strong claims for a penalty rejected when Clement Maury appeared to trip Baptiste Guillaume soon after the restart, but they struggled to impress.
Guinea right-back Issiaga Sylla fired straight at Lille goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama before Pablo Martinez came within inches of scoring the visitors’ first goal of the season when his header struck the crossbar two minutes from time.
Reims 4, Lorient 1
Reims bounced back from last week’s loss at Nantes by thumping Lorient 4-1 to move to the top of Ligue 1.
Gaetan Charbonnier opened the scoring midway through the first half in slightly fortuitous circumstances as his cross evaded everyone in the area before nestling in the net and although Didier Bouanga levelled in the 49th minute with a lovely curling effort, Reims ran riot thereafter.
Nicolas De Preville had earlier missed a gilt-edged chance before half-time and made amends by pinching possession off Wesley Lautoa and firing home in the 55th minute, while Grejohn Kyei doubled the home side’s advantage with a nice finish after cutting inside 12 minutes later. Atila Turan then netted from close range four minutes from time to complete a comfortable victory for Reims, their third in four matches this season.
Rennes 3, Toulouse 1
Rennes secured a third successive win in Ligue 1 as they came from behind to beat Toulouse 3-1.
The visitors led after just five minutes through Martin Braithwaite, who finished at the far post following Adrien Regattin’s ball into the area. However, a period of Rennes’ pressure paid off after 17 minutes when Ludovic Baal’s centre caused panic in the Toulouse box and resulted in Steeve Yago turning into his own net.
That sparked a spell of dominance from the home team but they had to wait until 67 minutes to take the lead. Giovanni Sio’s run into the box saw him brought to the ground by goalkeeper Mauro Goicoechea. A penalty was given and although Rennes captain Sylvain Armand saw his spot-kick saved, he was in the right place to tuck away the rebound.
Sio then capped a fine performance with a third goal in stoppage time, putting away a perfect delivery from Paul-Georges Ntep.
FOXSoccer.com’s newswire services contributed to this Ligue 1 recap.