Montpellier tops Ligue 1 with win over Ajaccio

Montpellier defeated Ajaccio 3-1 at Stade Francois Coty on Wednesday to move into first place in the Ligue 1 table.

First-half goals from Remy Cabella, Marco Estrada, and John Utaka helped secure three points for Montpellier, moving the club above Lyon in the table.

Mehdi Mostefa kept Ajaccio's hopes alive with a goal in the second half, but it proved to be nothing more than a consolation goal.

Cabella opened the scoring when he converted a pass from Souleymane Camara in the third minute. Estrada doubled the lead just six minutes later from a corner kick, giving Montpellier a two-goal cushion inside the opening ten minutes.

Utaka provided Montpellier some additional insurance in the 35th minute, with Camera notching his second assist of the game.

Mostefa gave Ajaccio a glimmer of hope at a comeback with his goal in the 55th minute, but further goals materialized.

The only sour note for Montpellier came in the 63rd minute when Abdelhamid El Kaoutari was shown a second yellow card by referee Herve Piccirillo. But it did not impact the outcome of the match, as Ajaccio failed to capitalize on the man-advantage.

Montpellier has made an impressive start to the Ligue 1 campaign, sitting in first place with 16 points. With five wins from its first seven matches, Montpellier jumps ahead of Lyon, which suffered its first loss of the season at Caen.

Ajaccio remains in the lower half of the table with just five points taken from its first seven matches.

Caen 1, Lyon 0

Caen, France - Lyon surrendered first place in Ligue 1 on Wednesday with its 1-0 loss to Caen, its first loss of the new campaign.

In its first seven matches, Lyon had claimed first place with four wins and two draws. But its loss to Caen, paired with Montpellier's defeat of Ajaccio, has seen Lyon draw out of the top spot.

Benjamin Nivet scored the lone goal of the match with a penalty kick just before halftime.

Lyon goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was whistled for a foul in the box and was promptly issued a red card for denying a goal-scoring opportunity. Nivet stepped up to take the ensuing spot-kick and converted to hand Caen the win all three points.

Nivet was sent off himself in the 62nd minute after receiving his second yellow card.

Rennes 6, Sochaux 2

Montbeliard, France - Rennes and Sochaux entered their match Wednesday separated by just two points, but Rennes extended that cushion to five points with an impressive 6-2 victory over Sochaux.

The score was deadlocked 2-2 at halftime, as Rennes goals from Victor Montano and Jean-Armel Kana-Biyik were canceled out by Edouard Butin and Modibo Maiga. But Rennes went on a tear in the second half, scoring four goals to put the game out of reach for Sochaux.

Julien Feret gave Rennes the lead in the 51st minute with an assist from Youssouf Hadji. Hadji and Montano then strengthened the lead with two goals in quick succession, scoring in the 69th and 71st minutes respectively. Jires Kembo-Ekoko wrapped-up the scoring in injury time to secure three points for Rennes.

PSG 2, Nice 1

Paris, France - PSG extended its six-game unbeaten run in French league play on Wednesday, defeating Nice 2-1 with all three goals coming from penalty kicks.

Nene gave PSG the lead in the first half with his spot-kick in the 36th minute, however Luciano Monzon was able to equalize for Nice with a penalty- kick of their own in the 61st minute.

But PSG was awarded a second penalty, the third of the match, in the 71st minute, and Kevin Gameiro converted to solidify three points.

Marseille 2, Evian 0

Marseille, France - Marseille recorded its first win of the new season on Wednesday, defeating Evian 2-0 behind a brace from Loic Remy.

Remy tallied goals in both halves, scoring in the 25th minute before doubled the lead in the 74th minute. Marseille played for approximately half the match with a man advantage after Guillaume Rippert was shown a second yellow card in the 44th minute.

The win gives Marseille six points on the season, enough to move out of last place in Ligue 1.

Lorient 1, Auxerre 1

Lorient, France - Lorient and Auxerre embodied their close position in the Ligue 1 table, playing to a 1-1 draw on Wednesday.

Innocent Emeghara gave Lorient the lead in the 23rd minute, but Dennis Oliech equalized for Auxerre in the 62nd minute to earn his side a share of the points.

Lorient has 12 points on the season, while Auxerre trails closely with eight points.

Dijon 1, Brest 0

Dijon, France - Dijon narrowly defeated Brest 1-0 on Wednesday, as only a first-half penalty broke the deadlock in an even match.

Santiago Gentiletti was shown a red card for Brest following a foul in the box, and Christophe Mandanne scored from the ensuing penalty to record the lone goal of the game.

Nancy 1, Valenciennes 1

Nancy, France - Nancy and Valenciennes played to a 1-1 draw on Wednesday, as the two teams at the foot of the Ligue 1 table share a point.

Benjamin Moukandjo gave Nancy the lead in the 15th minute, but Renaud Cohade provided some late heroics in the form of an 82nd minute equalizer.

St Etienne 1, Toulouse 1

Saint Etienne, France - Toulouse failed to keep pace with leaders Montpellier on Wednesday, as it settled for a 1-1 draw at St Etienne.

With Montpellier defeating Ajaccio and Lyon falling to Caen, Toulouse needed to claim three points in order move into a tie for first place.

When Franck Tabanou scored in the sixth minute, Toulouse appeared to be close to achieving that feat, but Paulao notched the equalizer for St Etienne in the 89th minute to spoil the party.