Reims and Rennes moved alongside idle Paris Saint-Germain on nine points at the top of Ligue 1 on Saturday. 

Champagne-region Reims, who won the last of their six French titles in 1962, were too strong for winless Lorient as they triumphed 4-1, while Rennes scored two second-half goals thanks to Sylvain Armand and Giovanni Sio to defeat Toulouse 3-1. 

Reims top the table on goals scored ahead of PSG with Rennes just behind on goal difference. 

Earlier, French international Nabil Fekir scored a hat-trick as Lyon rumbled to a 4-0 win at Caen and climbed to a tie for fifth with Bastia and Nantes, who both play on Sunday away to Saint-Etienne and Bordeaux respectively. 

In other matches Saturday, promoted Angers maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a 1-1 draw at home to Nice and lie fourth while Troyes and Montpellier finished scoreless. 

In the only other match of the day, former Zambia and Ivory Coast handler Herve Renard enjoyed his first win as Lille coach where a 23rd minute goal from Sofiane Boufal was enough to see off Gazelec-Ajaccio 1-0 in the north of the country. 

At Caen, Lyon’s Corentin Tolisso helped set up two of Fekir’s goals on a day when new signing Mathieu Valbuena was also on display. 

Guadaloupean-born 27-year-old Claudio Beauvue was also on the scoresheet as Hubert Fournier’s side got back to winning ways following a 2-1 home loss to Rennes last time out.

“The win was important because we are Olympique Lyonnais and to lose twice would already be the beginning of a small crisis, so it was good to find some serenity and especially with our offensive players who were great today,” said Fournier. 

“We messed up against Rennes at home in a situation when we were not quite up to our level, but tonight we scored four goals which doesn’t happen to everyone. Things are not yet perfect and we realise that but to win 4-0 is good for our morale,” added Fournier.  

Fekir’s first came on 18 minutes as he took a pass from Tolisso, beat Damien Da Silva and then shot past goalkeeper Remy Vercoutre.

His second came a minute before the break after he turned Chaker Alhadhur inside out.

Valbuena set up the third on 57 minutes and four minutes from time Beauvue hit a cross-shot from the corner of the area that gave Vercoutre no chance.

Lyon now trail defending champions Paris Saint-Germain by two points, although Laurent Blanc’s undefeated capital outfit can restore their lead when they travel to Monaco in the weekend’s final match on Sunday. 

Caen remain in the top eight, three points behind PSG after two wins and two defeats from four games.

On Friday night, Sloan Privat and Nicolas Benezet gave Guingamp their first goals of the season in a 2-0 win which sent Marseille crashing back to earth.

Marseille had been riding a tide of euphoria since the arrival of new coach Michel with a 6-0 rout of Troyes last weekend following losses in their opening two games, but cold reality hit again in Brittany.

“The rhythm of the game was very fast and the opposition very strong,” said Spaniard Michel, who took over after Argentine Marcelo Bielsa quit after the first game of the season.

The 26-year-old Privat had missed a penalty early on but made up by getting his team’s first goal after 72 minutes at the Roudourou Stadium with Benezet scoring the second with one minute to go.

Their first points of the season lifted Guingamp off the bottom of the table just behind Marseille who are 13th, also with three points from four games. – Agence France-Presse

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