Les Verts retain pole as strugglers respond
Saint-Etienne maintained their place at the top of Ligue 1 with a hard-fought 1-1 draw at home to reigning champions Marseille. Laurent Batlles secured a point for Les Verts 12 minutes into the second half, after Andre-Pierre Gignac had given OM a 27th-minute lead.
Promoted Brest continued their strong start to the season with a battling 1-0 win over Monaco at Stade Louis II. Bruno Grougi hit the only goal 19 minutes from time as the visitors extended their unbeaten league run to five games and moved up to fourth.
Sochaux eased to their fourth win in five home games this season as Lens were left with just a solitary point from their last five games. Modibo Maiga and Brown Ideye put the hosts in control before half-time, and Damien Perquis's second-half strike rounded off a comfortable 3-0 success as the Montbeliard club climbed to fifth.
Strikers relieve Puel pressure
Lyon completed a satisfying few days with a second successive away win, which ought to ease the pressure on coach Claude Puel. Les Gones, one of the title favourites, started the weekend in the relegation zone but two goals from Jimmy Briand enabled them to register a much-needed 3-2 victory and build on Wednesday's 3-1 UEFA Champions League win at Hapoel Tel-Aviv.
Briand's first goal of the evening doubled Lyon's lead after the returning Lisandro Lopez put them ahead after 37 minutes. Nancy hit back and levelled matters through goals from Andre Luiz and Julien Feret - their first at the Stade Marcel Picot this season - but they could not grab their first home point as Briand struck again with 15 minutes remaining to move Puel's men out of the bottom three.
Two goals in the space of five first-half minutes from Gregory Pujol and Mamadou Samassa helped Valenciennes also move away from the danger zone tonight. Although Youssef El Arabi pulled a goal back 15 minutes from time at the Stade Nungesser, it was not enough to prevent promoted Caen surrendering their unbeaten away record as they went down 2-1.
Bordeaux do enough, Auxerre run riot
Bordeaux climbed into the top half of the standings this evening thanks to a 1-0 home victory over Lorient. Michael Ciani capitalised on defensive hesitancy to net the game's only goal after 25 minutes, leaving Lorient still without a win at the Stade Chaban-Delmas.
The result continued Les Girondins' revival after a poor start to the season and moved Jean Tigana's side up three spots to tenth, while Lorient slipped two places to 16th on the back of their fourth defeat of the campaign.
Auxerre claimed their first league win of the season as they hammered Arles 4-0 in Avignon to spoil Faruk Hadzibegic's first game in charge. The sides were meeting for the first time in the top flight following the minnows' promotion, but the new boys were blown away as goals from Alain Traore, Benoit Pedretti, Roy Contout and Valter Birsa sealed a comfortable win that meant the hosts remained without a point to their name after eight games.