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Saint-Etienne extends perfect start

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 17, 2014 at 2:53 pm •  Published: August 17, 2014

PARIS (AP) — Saint-Etienne rallied past Reims 3-1 for its second straight win in the French league on Sunday while Marseille lost 2-0 to Montpellier.

Reims opened the scoring with an own goal from Saint-Etienne defender Loic Perrin in the 27th minute. However, Saint-Etienne winger Max-Alain Gradel leveled by curling a free kick into the top corner in the 61st and Kevin Monnet-Paquet headed in a cross from striker Mevlut Erding in the 71st for a 2-1 lead. Erding sealed the win from close range in the 81st.

Saint-Etienne has six points from two games after winning 2-0 at Guingamp last weekend.

At Stade Velodrome, Montpellier winger Anthony Mounier beat the offside trap to score with a lob in the 19th. He set up the second goal with a low cross converted by Morgan Samson in the 69th.

Marseille's players looked uncomfortable in the unorthodox 3-3-3-1 system imposed by Argentine coach Marcelo Bielsa, showing again their defensive frailties after drawing 3-3 with Bastia in the opening round.

"The result is not the one that I expected," Bielsa said. "This match shows that we still have things to fix. But there are more positives than negatives."

Monaco played Bordeaux later Sunday.

On Saturday, it was: Paris Saint-Germain 2, Bastia 0; Lens 0, Guingamp 1; Lorient 0, Nice 0; Metz 1, Nantes 1; Rennes 6, Evian 2; and Toulouse 2, Lyon 1.

Lille edged Caen 1-0 on Friday.

Defending champion PSG lost three players to injuries against Bastia. Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic came off in the 16th minute because of a left oblique muscle strain, the club said. Dutch defender Gregory Van der Wiel was replaced at halftime following a fractured lumbar vertebra. And the club confirmed Italy midfielder Thiago Motta had a broken nose after Bastia striker Brandao headbutted him in the tunnel at the end of the match.


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