Ligue 1 champions PSG back on top, Marseille fall again

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Paris, Aug 17 (IANS) Defending champions Paris Saint-Germain claimed back to back wins after easing past Ligue 1 debutants Ajaccio 2-0 in their first home game of the French football league season.

The capital-based club scored through French international midfielder Blaise Matuidi and Brazilian captain Thiago Silva while Ajaccio provided little opposition for Laurent Blanc’s side on Sunday, reports Xinhua.

Matuidi opened the scoring in the 11th minute when he raced onto a loose ball outside the box, cleared the defence with a touch and fired into the top-left corner of Ajaccio keeper Clement Maury’s net.

Silva then added a second 10 minutes later, finding the end of a midfielder Thiago Motta cross from a corner and powered home a header from the centre of Maury’s box.

Striker Edinson Cavani missed several gilt-edged chances to extend PSG’s lead while the visitors were much more resilient in the second period despite offering little in terms of an attacking threat.

Defender Serge Aurier also squandered a decent opportunity with 10 minutes remaining and headed wide.

With the victory, PSG moved to the top of the Ligue 1 standings following up their opening victory at Lille last Friday.

Club Marseille began life without coach Marcelo Bielsa at the helm with another 0-1 defeat, as Reims claimed their second consecutive win to take the second position in Ligue 1 rankings on Sunday.

With Interim coach Franck Passi taking charge, Marseille, the first half leaders last season, saw midfielder Alaixys Romao sent off in the defeat where Reims defender Hamari Traore scored the winner just 14 minutes in.

Traore had found the back of the net with a long-range finish following a half-cleared corner, and the hosts could have added a second but for saves by Marseille’s French keeper Steve Mandanda.

Bielsa stepped down after Marseille lost 0-1 at home to Caen in week one.

In the other match on Sunday, forward Benjamin Moukandjo’s stoppage-time penalty earned Lorient a last-gasp 1-1 draw with Bastia at Stade Yves Allainmat stadium.

The visitors took a fourth-minute lead through winger Floyd Ayite, before the hosts equalised after defender Sebastien Squillaci brought down forward Denis Bouanga just inside the box. Moukandjo scored from the resultant penalty.

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