Hatem Ben Arfa’s dream start to the Ligue 1 season continued for nine-man Nice on Sunday, as he scored twice in an eventful 4-1 rout of Saint-Etienne.
Ben Arfa spent much of 2014-15 in limbo due to confusion over how many clubs he had represented in the season but his brace at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard moves him joint-top of the Ligue 1 scoring charts alongside Edinson Cavani.
Loic Perrin cancelled out Vincent Koziello’s opener before Ben Arfa scored twice in the final six minutes of the first half – firing home his first from a tight angle before beating a host of defenders and tucking away a superb virtuoso second.
Jean Seri added Nice’s fourth with the drama continuing after the hour as Nampalys Mendy and Maxime Le Marchand both saw red before Saint-Etienne substitute Jean-Christophe Bahebeck missed a penalty six minutes from time.
Marseille’s difficult start to the campaign continued as they were beaten 2-1 by in-form Angers at the Stade Velodrome.
While Angers have adjusted well since their promotion from Ligue 2, Marseille have endured a problematic campaign to date, with just two league wins from eight, having seen coach Marcelo Bielsa leave after only one game.
Following draws with Lyon and Toulouse, Michel’s men were behind after 38 minutes when Thomas Magnani opened the scoring from the penalty spot.
Romain Thomas headed in a second nine minutes after the hour mark with Michy Batshuayi’s 79th-minute penalty proving scant consolation as the visitors celebrated a famous win on the south coast.
Earlier on, Montpellier eased some of the pressure on manager Rolland Courbis with a 2-1 win over 10-man Lorient at the Stade de la Mosson.
Rami Bensebaini and Jonas Martin were on target for the hosts either side of Rafidine Abduallah’s equaliser – the Lorient man sent off for a poor challenge late on as Courbis’ men gained their first league victory of the season.
Guingamp and Monaco played a out a thrilling six-goal draw at the Stade du Roudourou as the visitors led three times but were forced to settle for a point.
Bernando Silva and Andrea Raggi scored either side of Sloan Privat’s equaliser to give Monaco the lead at the break only for Nicolas Benezet to level matters shortly after the hour.
Nabil Dirar’s first goal since March appeared to have gained Leonardo Jardim’s men the points but Benezet equalised a minute from time when his mis-hit cross caught out Danijel Subasic and looped in.