The talented Yoan Gourcuff was one of the big movers in France during the summer, completing a transfer to Lyon.  On the evidence of this weekend, they're going to need him.  John Dobson presents the latest update from Ligue 1.

Lorient 2-0 Lyon
St Etienne 3-1 Lens
Valenciennes 0-1 Montpellier
Arles 0-1 Rennes
Nancy 0-2 Toulouse
Caen 0-2 Brest
Monaco 2-0 Auxerre
Lille 1-1 Nice
Sochaux 3-1 PSG
Bordeaux 1-1 Marseille

More frustration for the big boys in Ligue 1 this week as none of Lyon, Bordeaux, PSG and Marseille managed a win. Neither did Lille or Auxerre as the league continues to throw up surprises, none moreso than up in Brittany at the Moustoir where Lorient, managed by Christian Gourcuff, took on a Lyon side that saw a certain Yoan Gourcuff come off the bench for his Les Gones debut. By the time the international midfielder came on - half an hour into proceedings in place of Cesar Delgado - Lyon were already behind, Kevin Gameiro converting an early penalty after Jeremy Toulalan had handled. Just after the hour, a decent save from Hugo Lloris fell at the feet of Lynel Kitambala who fired in a decisive second from fifteen yards. Lyon were simply not at the races. Marseille were ahead early against Bordeaux, Lucho Gonzalez turning a Brandao cross in at the near post, but were reduced a man before half time when Edouard Cissé was sent off. Bordeaux bided their time and patience was rewarded late in the game with Anthony Modeste's header.

PSG endured a thoroughly miserable day at Sochaux. When Gregory Coupet is dropping dollies, you know you're in trouble and he did just that quarter of an hour in, spilling the ball at the feet of Modibo Maiga who could scarcely believe his good fortune in putting his side a goal up. The veteran keeper was beaten at his near post for the second, scored by Ideye Brown, as the much-decorated international grew very old before everybody's eyes. Coupet came for a corner in first half stoppages, didn't make it and Damien Perquis to make it 3-0 as the sides went for a cuppa. Guillaume Hoarau did pull one back with an emphatic finish five minutes after the restart, but PSG's day ended in miserable fashion as Jeremy Clement was sent off a couple of minutes from time. Lille went behind to an Emerse Fae penalty after Eric Mouloungui went down a little too easily. Frankly, it was a fair challenge from Adil Rami. No questions about the spot kick though, Fae sending Mickael Landreau the wrong way. Eden Hazard rescued a point after Gervinho got to the byeline and dragged it back for the young Belgian. Auxerre were undone by two quickfire second half goals in the Principality. The first was pretty much route one, a long hoof forward, a headed flick on and Daniel Niculae's finish from range. That was followed moments later by Pierre-Emeric Aubamayeng finishing from just inside the box.

Toulouse still lead the way after their fourth straight win and have opened up a five-point gap already without having fielded a striker since midway through round one. They rode their luck a little during the first half at Nancy who hit the bar and forced a stunning reflex save at the near post from Mathieu Valverde. A bustling run from Etienne Capoue saw him finish in style for the opener and the game was sealed in the last minute by Franck Tabanou who embarked on a long, mazy run, saw Capoue drag defenders out of the way to leave him one-on-one with the keeper, dink it over him, saw it come back off the post but into his path and he tucked it in. Rennes are in second after beating Arles thanks to a long-range thunderbolt from Victor Montano. His former club, Montpellier, are third thanks to Olivier Giroud's diving header which was enough to beat Valenciennes. Sochaux are fourth while a Dimitri Payet hat-trick saw St Etienne past Lens and move up to fifth. The first came on five minutes, Payet cutting in from the right and looping a curling effort over the keeper from the edge of the box. His second, eleven minutes from time, saw him cut in from the left and finish right footed from similar range and his treble was complete with five minutes left in similar fashion to his second. Sylvain Marchal got himself sent off in stoppage time which allowed Lens to get one back very late on, Jeremie Janot unable to hang onto Sebastian Roudet's long range shot and Issam Jemaa followed in to score. Caen lost ground on the leaders after their first loss of the season. Their cause wasn't helped by Sambou Yatabare's early dismissal and Brest took full advantage. They produced chance after chance, but the deadlock was only broken fifteen minutes from time, the highly-rated Nolan Roux with a lovely half-volley from fifteen yards. Moments later, Jeremy Sorbon was tripped and a penalty awarded despite contact being about yay far outside the box. Mario Licka put the spot kick away.

After the international week, we get back underway with a really odd looking table. Last season, Toulouse v St Etienne would be a bottom half clash with both sides needing points to avoid being sucked into a relegation scrap. This season, it’s a top of the table clash with Toulouse already threatening to pull away. That’s the pick of the round five clashes, though Rennes v Sochaux is another unlikely top half clash. Arles search for their first points at home to PSG while Lyon, Marseille and Bordeaux all look to get their seasons back on track. Lyon are at home to Valenciennes, Marseille welcome Monaco to the Vélodrome while Bordeaux travel to Nice and there’s a northern derby when Lille go to Lens.

Auxerre v Caen

Brest v Lorient

Lens v Lille

Lyon v Valenciennes

Marseille v Monaco

Montpellier v Nancy

Nice v Bordeaux

PSG v Arles

Rennes v Sochaux

Toulouse v St Etienne

John covers the Eredivisie and Ligue 1 for IBWM but if you would like to read more from him, please visit euroballs.

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