A late Anthony Modeste header earned Bordeaux a 1-1 draw at home to Marseille on Sunday and ensured the 2009 French champions avoided defeat in their first game since the sale of Yoann Gourcuff.
Gourcuff joined Lyon in a €22m deal earlier this week and in his absence Bordeaux looked set to slip to their third defeat in four games after Lucho Gonzalez gave the visitors a 12th-minute lead. Marseille had to play for over an hour with ten men following the first-half dismissal of Edouard Cisse and they were within two minutes of their first league win at Bordeaux since 1977 when Modeste struck.
"It was a good performance. We knew it was an important match for the fans, and for us," said Modeste, who signed from Nice earlier this month. "We persevered and proved we have the right mentality. We worked hard and created lots of chances."
Both sides now have four points from their opening four matches, the same as fellow pre-season title favourites Lyon, leaving all three teams eight points adrift of early leaders Toulouse. Marseille coach Didier Deschamps handed a debut to striker Loic Remy, while fellow new recruit Andre-Pierre Gignac came on in the second half, but it was last summer's record signing Lucho who broke the deadlock thanks to a terrific assist from Brandao.
The Brazilian striker left two Bordeaux defenders on the turf after breaking forward from the edge of his own box before centring for Lucho to clip an adroit half-volley beneath Cedric Carrasso. The Bordeaux goalkeeper did well to claw away a deflected Taye Taiwo free-kick as the visitors increased the pressure, but Marseille were dealt a heavy blow in the 33rd minute when Cisse was contentiously sent off for sliding in from behind on Jaroslav Plasil.
Bordeaux's numerical advantage made for an open second half and the hosts were inches away from an equaliser when Modeste just failed to get a touch on Benoit Tremoulinas's cross. Carrasso twisted to repel a well-directed Andre Ayew header on the hour and he kept his side in the game again in the 77th minute when he touched Remy's low drive onto an upright. Steve Mandanda's command of his box at the other end had been equally solid but in the 88th minute Modeste got across his man to direct a powerful header inside the right-hand post from Plasil's inswinging cross.
PSG downed again
Earlier, Paris Saint-Germain's defensive frailties were exposed again as they fell to a 3-1 defeat at Sochaux that sent the victors up to fourth. Sochaux were 3-0 up at half-time after Modibo Maiga, Ideye Brown and Damien Perquis all exploited slack defending from the visitors, who had Jeremy Clement sent off late on for slyly raking his studs down Maiga's calf.
PSG have now conceded nine goals in their last three games, having lost 2-1 at Bordeaux last weekend and completed an aggregate victory over Maccabi Tel Aviv with a 4-3 defeat in the UEFA Europa League play-off round on Thursday. "We're having a difficult start to the season," conceded PSG coach Antoine Kombouare. "We have to stick together and bounce back. In terms of the transfer window, it didn't take me until today to realise that we need a defender."
UEFA Champions League hopefuls Auxerre went down 2-0 at Monaco, while Eden Hazard's second-half equaliser rescued a 1-1 draw for Lille at home to Nice. Gourcuff tasted defeat on his Lyon debut on Saturday as his side went down 2-0 at Lorient - the team coached by his father, Christian. Toulouse maintained their 100 per cent start with a 2-0 victory at Nancy.