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Monaco make their mark

Published: Saturday 7 August 2004, 22.27CET
AS Monaco FC and Olympique de Marseille both enjoyed winning starts to the new French league season.

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Published: Saturday 7 August 2004, 22.27CET

Monaco make their mark

AS Monaco FC and Olympique de Marseille both enjoyed winning starts to the new French league season.

Ernesto Chevanton made a dream debut for AS Monaco FC as they and Olympique de Marseille made winning starts to the Ligue 1 season - but Paris Saint-Germain FC were beaten by Stade Rennais FC.

Monaco win
Chevanton, signed last month from US Lecce to replace Fernando Morientes, scored within a minute to give Monaco a 1-0 lead at newly-promoted AS Saint-Etienne that the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League finalists never lost. Saint-Etienne, back in the top-flight after a three year absence, pushed hard for an equaliser, but the closest they came was when Mickaël Citony had a shot saved at close-range by Flavio Roma early in the second half.

Battles drama
The result meant Monaco emulated the result of champions Olympique Lyonnais, who beat OGC Nice by the same score on Friday night, and it was a similar story for Marseille, who scored the only goal of the game at home to FC Girondins de Bordeaux. However, in contrast to Monaco, Marseille had to wait until added time for Laurent Battles claim the winner.

Rennes delight
Last season's runners-up PSG fell to a 2-1 defeat at Rennes, though. Olivier Sorlin and Alexander Frei scored within one minute of each other midway through the first half for the home side, and although Paulta converted a penalty six minutes before the break, PSG could not level.

Promoted sides draw
Saint-Etienne's fellow promoted sides are each claimed their first point of the season as SM Caen and FC Istres played out a 1-1 draw. Moussa N'Diaye put Istres into a fourth-minute lead but Cyrille Watier equalised just after the quarter-hour. Meanwhile, Lille OSC, who welcome UD Leiria in the first leg of the UEFA Intertoto Cup final on Tuesday, beat UEFA Cup contenders AJ Auxerre 2-0 - Philippe Brunelm scoring just before the break and Geoffrey Dernis adding the second within a minute of the interval.

Sochaux victory
The other UEFA Cup entrants from France's top-flight, FC Sochaux-Montbéliard, beat AC Ajaccio 1-0 with a first-half goal from Sylvain Monsoreau. Elsewhere, SC Bastia beat RC Strasbourg 2-1, FC Metz overcame FC Nantes Atlantique 1-0 and RC Lens drew 0-0 at Toulouse FC.

Last updated: 08/08/04 17.51CET

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