Recent recruit Bakari Kone today played an instrumental role in Marseille's 4-0 win over Auxerre at a packed Stade Velodrome. The Côte d'Ivoire international, a nine-million-euro signing from Nice, dodged defenders and sent a precise cross from the right in to Mamadou Niang, who headed it into the net.
OM's account was doubled when Auxerre's Swiss defender Stephane Grichting deflected a Hatem Ben Arfa strike into his own goal. Next, Elliot Grandine skilfully evaded his marker and sent in a lob, which ended up in the visitors' goal, and Dutchman Boudewijn Zenden completed the scoring from a free-kick.
Grenoble, newly promoted into Ligue 1, unexpectedly occupy the top spot after champions Lyon were held to a goalless draw by Lorient. The club from the Alpine mountain city had been out in the cold for 45 years, and marked their return to the top flight with a couple of convincing wins, over Sochaux last weekend and then Rennes today.
Grenoble Nassim Akrour, 34, delivered the only goal in the 20th minute, much to the delight of the home crowd. "It shows we can expect a reasonable season but it's only the start," said coach Mecha Bazdarevic.
"It is satisfying to beat a club like Rennes who are playing in Europe. The club is growing and we are building." Grenoble's improbable position at the summit is largely due to defending champions Lyon's surprise 0-0 draw at Lorient.
Les Gones coach Claude Puel was frustrated with the result. "We had a few good opportunities but they missed. (Fabien Audard), who made some reflex saves," he conceded.