PSG punish Arles, Lyon and Auxerre draw

Only a few days before the start of hostilities in the UEFA Champions League, Paris Saint Germain warmed up with a 4-0 rout of new boys Arles-Avignon, but Lyon and Auxerre were both held to 1-1 draws.

Having previously notched up only one win in four games since the start of the season, PSG now move up to sixth, albeit five points adrift of leaders Toulouse and ahead of the rest of the weekend's fixtures.

After a string of three consecutive defeats - two in the league and one in Europe - that leaked nine goals, PSG finally turned on the style against a side that is still looking for direction amongst the top flight.

Striker Guillaume Hoarau opened the scoring in the 18th minute to claim his fifth goal in as many matches, and ten minutes later defender Mamadou Sakho volleyed home from the left post after a corner from Brazilian Luis Nene.

Nene turned goalscorer himself 10 minutes after the restart with a superb free kick, and barely seven minutes later latched on to a pass from Mevlut Erding to grab his second of the game.

PSG coach Antoine Kombouare was happy with a result which he "did not expect to come so easily", and said his side must now begin to has called on his side to continue in the same fashion. "The players showed up and put everything into this result, now we have to build on this result and start to be far more consistent."

The players showed up and put everything into this result, now we have to build on this result and start to be far more consistent.
Antoine Kombouare, PSG coach

Lyon failed in their bid to leave their poor start to the season behind them being held to a 1-1 draw by Valenciennes.

The Stade Gerland was waiting on the magic of Argentinian striker Lisandro Lopez or new signing Yoann Gourcuff, but it was striker Jeremy Pied who found the target with a header in the 27th minute of his elite debut.

It was the only goal of the game for the hosts, who were stunned by a thundering header from defender Gaetan Bong in the 69th minute.

"We didn't play so badly, but when you're leading 1-0 in football you're always at the mercy of an equaliser," lamented Gourcuff. "We're disappointed, but we have to think positively."

Auxerre's 1-1 draw at home to Caen was even bitter pill to swallow for manager Jean Fernandez, the Burgundy side dropping points due to an injury-time leveller from Youssef El-Arabi having been leading courtesy of a 20th minute opener by skipper Benoit Pedretti.

With one eye on their midweek challenge against AC Milan, Fernandez rested one of his main goalscorers, Ireneusz Jelen, for the match but may now regret that decision after Auxerre slumped to 18th, still to win a game.