By Andy Ferguson

Marseille stay on top

Marseille became the first Ligue 1 side in over 50 years to win their opening six league matches as they defeated Evian 1-0 at the Stade Velodrome.

Monaco were the last side to complete the feat in the 1960-61 campaign, where they finished eventual winners – something that OM will look to for inspiration.

Only three days after their impressive comeback in their Europa League fixture against Fenerbache, the heavy legged league leaders fought hard to maintain their 100% start.

A Morgan Amalfitano header made the breakthrough just after the half hour mark, and Elie Baup’s ever improving side were able to see out the victory.

Baup has restored confidence to many of Didier Deschamps 2011/12 underachievers, with Pierre-Andre Gignac and Mathieu Valbuena in particular looking a class apart from the players that struggled last season.

The much maligned Gignac has been given a fresh lease of life under his new manager, scoring three times in six games –triple his total for the whole of last season – and creating numerous chances for him and his teammates alike.

Evian did make life difficult for Marseille in the second half, with goalkeeper Steve Mandanda forced to make a string of terrific saves for the home side.

The much courted Yannick Sagbo missed a glorious chance to pull L’ETG level, firing wide past the France number two’s right hand post.

Marseille’s victory ensures that they will be ahead of northern rivals Paris Saint-Germain when the sides meet in week eight’s much anticipated encounter.

Ibra does it again

However, the resurgence from the capital continued this weekend as Paris Saint-Germain sealed a convincing 4-0 victory away to newly promoted Bastia.

The big-spending Parisians dominated proceedings in a one sided encounter at the Stade Armand Cesari.

PSG took the lead with five minutes on the clock after Nene’s freekick found Zlatan Ibrahimovic unmarked at the back post. The Swede knocked the ball down for Jeremy Menez to strike home from six yards.

Bastia failed to cope with their opponents’ slick passing and signs of the Parisians’ new players gelling appear to be evident.

A superbly taken double by Ibrahimovic and a rare Blaise Matuidi goal capped off an excellent day for Carlo Ancelotti’s men, who maintain their unbeaten start to the campaign.

After a disappointing three draws from their opening Ligue 1 fixtures, PSG have now won three on the spin to push into the top three.

Champions Montpellier’s start of season struggle continued with a 1-1 draw with Saint-Etienne at the Stade de la Mosson.

Both sides set out to attack in what was a pulsating Friday night fixture – a great advert for Ligue 1 football.

The away side had the better of the first half action, taking a deserved lead through the impressive Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang just before the half time whistle.

However, a touch line bust-up between Les Verts midfielder Romain Hamouma, Montpellier’s manager Rene Girard and captain Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa seemed to spark last season’s title winners into life in the second half.

The removal of last year’s star man Younes Belhanda appeared to benefit Montpellier and signs of their inspiring Champions League performance against Arsenal on Tuesday night began to shine through.

Winger Anthony Mounier and forward Souleymane Camara missed a number of guilt-edge chances before the striker netted the 70th minute equaliser that their second half dominance merited.

Terrific goalkeeping performances by Saint-Etienne’s Stephane Ruffier and Montpellier’s Geoffrey Jourdren kept the scoreline low and both teams will be satisfied with a point.

Rene Girard’s men now sit 13 points off Marseille with only one win from their first six games. Much work will need to be done to compete for a top three finish this season.

Goalkeeping performances were the talk of the weekend in France, particularly in Toulouse’s 2-2 draw with Rennes.

Rather than a fine showing between the sticks, Toulouse and France U21 ‘keeper Ali Alhamada caused the sensation of the Saturday night fixtures by scoring in the 94th minute to rescue a point for his side.

There were unbelievable scenes at the Stadium Municipal as Alhamada charged through the defence and threw himself backwards in sensational fashion to head Wissam Ben Yedder’s free kick past his counterpart Benoit Costil – a goal worth seeing to believe.

The result leaves Rennes reeling in the relegation area after a dismal start of five defeats in their opening fixtures, whereas Toulouse’s sit comfortably in seventh.

Gameweek 6 – Results

Montpellier Herault  1 – 1 AS Saint-Etienne

SC Bastia 0 – 4 Paris Saint-Germain

Olympique de Marseille 1 – 0 Evian TG FC

LOSC Lille 1 – 1 Olympique Lyonnais

Stade Brestois 2 – 1 Valenciennes FC

FC Lorient 1 – 1 OGC Nice

Stade de Reims 2 – 0 AS Nancy Lorraine

FC Sochaux Montbeliard 3 – 1 ESTAC Troyes

Toulouse FC 2 – 2 Stade Rennais

Girondins de Bordeaux 2 – 2 AC Ajaccio

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