Saint-Étienne take the lead after surprising Marseille

Claude Puel's men are the only team to have won three matches in Ligue 1. Hamouma and Bouanga scored to give Les Verts victory.


Saint-Étienne, ranked 17th in the last Ligue 1, won 0-2 against Olympique de Marseille thanks to goals from Hamouma and Bouanga and reached the top of the standings, becoming the first team to win the top three matches of the season in France.

After having beaten PSG on Sunday in the Classic and with the absences of Benedetto and Amavi due to suspension, Villas-Boas came out with an eleven similar to the one he won in the Parque de los Príncipes. Balerdi was the novelty on the left side and Maxime López repeated the title of false 9. Sanson also returned to eleven after having tested positive for coronavirus.

Surprisingly, Saint-Étienne was the great dominator of the first half. Those from Puel showed that the first two victories of the season were no coincidence and they came out to the Velodrome with a spectacular personality. There was no sign of the Marseille that won in Paris and Les Verts took the lead in the opening bars through Hamouma. The winger attacked the near post and anticipated Caleta-Car to put the 0-1 on the scoreboard. It was not a mirage, because a minute later, Aouchiche was able to make it 0-2, but Caleta-Car avoided it in the small area.

Marsella was a team at the mercy of its rival for the first 45 minutes. Those of Villas-Boas did not overcome the intense pressure of Saint-Étienne and, although they had several occasions, the clearest of Thauvin, they could not bother Moulin. In fact, Saint-Étienne reached the rival area very easily and had several situations to increase their income. The best thing for the Villas-Boas team at halftime was the result.

The Portuguese coach did not hesitate and introduced two modifications as soon as he left the changing room tunnel. Balerdi, once again greatly outmatched, was replaced by Bouna Sarr. For his part, Aké entered the field of play to give Marseille a reference that he did not have due to the absence of Benedetto. The youth squad was the key to open the spider web of Saint-Étienne, having in his boots a very clear chance against Ruffier that ended up on the crossbar and generating another arrival of great danger that Sanson failed in the small area with his left leg.

Marseille ended up paying for its lack of effectiveness in the final stretch of the game. Saint-Étienne made a perfect counterattack, started by Nordin with a magnificent break over Caleta-Car and initialed by Denis Bouanga, who beat Mandanda with a showy serenity and increased the income of Les Verts. It was a jug of cold water for Marseille just when it was at its best in the game. A very important victory for Saint-Étienne, who ended matchday 3 as the solo leader of the Ligue 1.

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