Lorient shock Monaco in opening Ligue 1 upset


AFP

PARIS — Twenty-year-old Valentin Lavigne scored with three minutes left to hand unfancied Lorient a shock 2-1 victory over Monaco in the final match of the opening weekend in Ligue 1 action on Sunday.

Colombian striker Radamel Falcao had appeared to salvage a point for new coach Leonardo Jardim with a controversial penalty on 78 minutes, following Ricardo Carvalho’s sending-off. But Lavigne broke clear of the defence to slot the ball past Croatian goalkeeper Danijel Subasic.

Cameroon international Vincent Aboubakar made no mistake from the spot as he planted a low shot past Subasic to put Lorient 1-0 in front.

Lorient goalkeeper Benjamin Lacomte, who spent last season on loan at second division Dijon, dealt with everything that came his way before the referee awarded Monaco a penalty with 12 minutes left. But despite Falcao’s strike, it wasn’t enough.

Earlier, seven-time French champions Lyon began their campaign in fine style as they defeated Brittany club Rennes 2-0 at the Stade Gerland.

Caen are the early frontrunners on goal difference after their 3-0 win at Evian on Saturday.

Lyon, who won their titles consecutively from 2002 and 2008, opened the scoring in their first league match under new coach Hubert Fournier with a strike from 34-year-old midfielder Steed Malbranque after 64 minutes.

French international Alexandre Lacazette made the points safe from the penalty spot with 16 minutes left.

Champions Paris Saint-Germain were held to a 2-2 draw at Reims in the Ligue 1 curtain raiser on Friday while Marseille were pegged back in a 3-3 draw at Bastia 24 hours later in a match marred by crowd trouble.

There were also opening day wins for Saint-Etienne, Bordeaux, Nice and Nantes while Champions League hopefuls Lille, who drew Porto in the final qualifying round,