Paris, Sep 28 (IANS) Nine-man Nice claimed an eventful 4-1 rout of Saint-Etienne thanks to Hatem Ben Arfa’s strong performance, while Angers pulled off a shock win at Marseille in the French Ligue 1.
The mercurial Ben Arfa bagged a brace for the second game in a row to help Nice snap the second-placed Saint-Etienne’s five-match winning run in Ligue 1 on Sunday, reports Xinhua.
Vincent Koziello opened the scoring after five minutes, but was cancelled out by Loic Perrin fifteen minutes later.
Ben Arfa, however, re-established the visitors’ lead in the 39th minute, firing home from a tight angle.
Ben Arfa then scored a wonder goal on the stroke of half-time, dribbling past several defenders before shooting low across St Etienne goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier from a tight angle.
Cote d’Ivoire midfielder Jean Seri rounded off the scoring in the 53rd minute before Saint-Etienne substitute Jean-Christophe Bahebeck missed a penalty six minutes from time.
Saint-Etienne’s Nampalys Mendy and Maxime Le Marchand were both dismissed, Nice held on to secure their third win in a row.
After the eighth round match, Nice moved up to the seventh and Saint-Etienne remained four points behind leaders Paris Saint-Germain.
Marseille’s miserable start to the season continued as they were beaten 1-2 at home by newly promoted Angers.
Michel’s men were behind after 38 minutes when Thomas Magnani opened scoring from the penalty spot.
Romain Thomas headed in a second on 69 minutes with Michy Batshuayi’s 79th minute penalty proving scant consolation as the visitors celebrated a win.
Marseille, whose home ground the Stade Velodrome stadium was closed on Sunday after crowd trouble in their previous home match against Lyon, have endured a problematic campaign to date, with just two league wins from eight.
Earlier, Montpellier recorded their first win of the season with a 2-1 victory over 10-man Lorient at the Stade de la Mosson, while last year’s runners-up Monaco was held 3-3 at Guingamp.