France's Ligue 1 resumes with a 2007-2008 season déjà-vu. Bordeaux confirmed with a 2-1 victory over Caen they would be a serious contender for title-holder Lyon. Last year's strugglers Paris SG and their new recruits lost in Monaco (1-0).
PARIS, Aug 9 (Reuters) - Olympique Marseille displayed the
style that made them one of Ligue 1's most exciting teams last
season but had to settle for a 4-4 draw in a thriller at Stade
Rennes on the opening day of the new campaign on Saturday.
The game featured three goals in the last three minutes,
including two from hosts Rennes who equalised in added time.
Girondins Bordeaux beat Caen 2-1 while Claude Makelele's
Paris St Germain debut ended in a 1-0 defeat at Monaco.
Bordeaux, runners-up last season, went behind early against
Caen before hitting back with second-half goals from Yoann
Gourcuff and Fernando Cavenaghi.
Hatem Ben Arfa, making his Ligue 1 debut for Marseille after
joining from champions Olympique Lyon, scored one goal and set
up another as the visitors took a 3-1 halftime lead.
But Rennes, thanks to a double strike by Olivier Thomert,
hit back before a final goal from Bruno Cheyrou salvaged a draw
in the frenzied last few minutes.
"We're really very, very disappointed because we had the
match under control," Ben Arfa said. "We can be very dangerous
but we have to find the right balance between attack and
Marseille and Bordeaux both hope to mount a challenge for
the championship but must dislodge Lyon, who won their seventh
successive title last season and play Toulouse on Sunday.
PSG, who signed former France midfielder Makelele from
Chelsea in the close season, lost to a late header from Frederic
Nimani after appearing comfortable for much of the match.
"We still have a lot of preparation to do as a team,"
Makelele said. "I think there's a lot of quality... what we've
got to do is iron out a lot of mistakes we're making. We
deserved better this evening."
In other matches, Auxerre defeated Nantes 2-1, Le Havre beat
Nice 1-0 and Grenoble won 2-1 at Sochaux.
Date created : 2008-08-10