France round-up: Monaco race to victory

AS Monaco FC brushed aside Toulouse FC 3-0 to stay one point in front of Olympique de Marseille.

AS Monaco FC retained their one-point lead at the top of Ligue 1 after impressing in a thoroughly one-sided 3-0 defeat of Toulouse FC.

In control
Monaco left out midfield player Ludovic Giuly and Spanish international striker Fernando Morientes ahead of their UEFA Champions League match against AEK Athens next week but were never in any danger against second-bottom Toulouse.
Cissé strike
Edouard Cissé scored the pick of the goals, a 30-metre half-volley on the half-hour mark and Emmanuel Adebayor and Dado Prso were also on target in a match where victory came at a veritable stroll.
Laslandes opener
An added-time penalty earned second-placed Olympique de Marseille a 2-1 win over OGC Nice on Saturday. Experienced striker Lilian Laslandes gave his side the lead, breaching the home team’s defence for the first time this season, but Didier Drogba equalised in the 59th minute.

Drogba spot-kick
The score remained unchanged until the fourth minute of stoppage time. Marseille were awarded a penalty after Ahmed Hossam 'Mido' was pulled back in the penalty box and Drogba duly stepped up to collect his second goal of the night.

Too strong
Third-placed Olimpique Lyonnais, who face Celtic FC in the Champions League, ran out comfortable 4-0 winners against RC Lens and temporarily claimed top spot in the standings.

Mighty Juninho
Three of the goals arrived in the first half, with two falling to influential Brazilian midfielder Juninho Pernambucano, who continued his excellent start to the season by completing his hat-trick after the break. Anthony Reveillère also scored after fine work by by Eric Carrière.

Pauleta winner
Paris St-Germain FC were not nearly as comfortable victors against AJ Auxerre, only coming out on top 1-0. Pauleta, increasingly a force after his close season move from FC Girondins de Bordeaux, snatched the winning goal early on when he nipped in at the near post to score.

Sochaux undone
FC Sochaux Montbéliard, now sixth, went down 2-0 to SC Bastia after a header from Moroocan midfielder Youssouf Hadji, who opened the scoring in the seventh minute, and an own goal from Maxence Flachez.

Desperate start
Le Mans UC 72’s bedraggled start to the season – they have yet to win in eight games – continued following a 2-0 defeat by Stade Rennais FC. Striker Frédéric Piquionne was on target from close range and Cyril Jeunechamp’s left-foot shot made sure.

Score draws
Elsewhere, Montpellier Hérault SC held Lille OSC to a 1-1 draw away. The home team led from the 26th minute when Bulgarian striker Vladimir Manchev volleyed in but a stunning free-kick from central defender Bruno Carotti ensured a share of the spoils. FC Metz and EA Guingamp also drew 1-1, with efforts from Christophe Le Roux and Babacar Gueye respectively.