Paris Saint-Germain bounced back from their heavy Champions League loss at Newcastle United to beat Rennes 3-1 in Ligue 1 on Sunday, while the earlier game between Montpellier and Clermont was abandoned after a firecracker was thrown at visiting goalkeeper Mory Diaw.
PSG were thrashed 4-1 in Newcastle on Wednesday, a result and a performance which raised serious doubts about their prospects in Europe this season.
But they returned to form against Rennes at a ground where they have regularly struggled in recent years, recording a win which lifts them up to third in the table, two points behind leaders Monaco.
Coach Luis Enrique abandoned his experiment with playing four forwards, and the returning midfielder Vitinha opened the scoring with a brilliant arcing strike into the top corner from an Ousmane Dembele pass just after the half-hour mark.
It was 2-0 four minutes later when Warren Zaire-Emery crossed for Achraf Hakimi, arriving unmarked in the box, to head in.
Amine Gouiri headed in from close range to get Rennes back into the match in the 56th minute, but PSG scored again just two minutes later as Hakimi’s low delivery was converted at the near post by Randal Kolo Muani, who had been dropped from the starting line-up.
Kolo Muani had another goal disallowed for offside, while Kylian Mbappe somehow shot over late on after a brilliant burst forward that had taken him around the goalkeeper.
Montpellier face punishment
In Montpellier, television pictures showed a firecracker landing next to the feet of Clermont goalkeeper Diaw and exploding with a loud bang, just as the match was entering stoppage time.
A clearly stunned Diaw went down and needed treatment before being stretchered off, and the game was halted before being abandoned following a crisis meeting.
“The doctor who examined the Clermont goalkeeper certified that he was not in a condition to return to the field. The match is therefore halted definitively,” referee Florent Batta told media at the Stade de la Mosson.
Montpellier were leading 4-2 and on course to win their first home game of the season until the incident, and now risk serious punishment from the French footballing authorities with the prospect of having to replay the game without their fans at the very least.
A police spokesman told AFP that the suspected perpetrator had been arrested and taken into custody.
Diaw was able to return to Clermont with his teammates after the game and was due to undergo further tests on Monday, the club said.
“We are disgusted, disappointed and sad,” admitted the Montpellier president, Laurent Nicollin, as he complained that the actions of one individual “could penalise the whole team”.
Lyon still winless
Marseille claimed their first win under new coach Gennaro Gattuso, beating Le Havre 3-0 courtesy of an own goal as well as strikes by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ismaila Sarr.
Le Havre had been reduced to 10 men before half-time when Rassoul Ndiaye was sent off for a second yellow card.
Lens followed their midweek Champions League win over Arsenal by coming from behind to draw 1-1 at home to Lille in the northern derby.
Benjamin Andre gave Lille the lead but Deiver Machado equalised for Lens, who are now unbeaten in five games.
Struggling Lyon are still without a win this season after squandering a two-goal lead to draw 3-3 at home to Lorient.
Eli Junior Kroupi gave Lorient the lead, but Ernest Nuamah equalised in the 21st minute and Alexandre Lacazette put Lyon ahead 60 seconds later.
A Lacazette penalty made it 3-1 for Lyon before half-time, but Lorient fought back in the second half with Kroupi scoring again before Darlin Yongwa equalised.
Monaco are a point clear of Nice at the Ligue 1 summit following a 3-1 victory at Reims on Saturday, while their Cote d’Azur neighbours won 1-0 at Metz to maintain their unbeaten record this season.
Like PSG, Brest are two points off top spot after a 1-1 draw with Toulouse.
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