Fekir scores 1st league hat trick as Lyon spank Caen

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY DANIELLA MATAR

France for­ward Na­bil Fekir scored his first French league hat trick Satur­day as last year’s run­nerup Lyon won 4-0 at Caen, while Reims moved pro­vi­sion­ally top with a 4-1 vic­tory at Lori­ent. Rennes is level with Reims and Paris Saint-Ger­main af­ter com­ing from be­hind to beat Toulouse 3-1. PSG vis­its Monaco on Sun­day.

“We are re­ally happy,” Lyon goal­keeper An­thony Lopes said. “We got four points, scored four goals, we knew how to con­trol things ... it’s a good sign.

“We saw a great Na­bil Fekir this af­ter­noon and I hope he will con­tinue like this, but above all it’s a team vic­tory.”

Fekir — who turned 22 last month — got his first in the 18th minute, tuck­ing the ball across for­mer Lyon goal­keeper Remy Ver­coutre and into the bot­tom right cor­ner fol­low­ing a lovely pass from Corentin Tolisso.

The duo com­bined again a minute from half­time. Fekir ran onto Tolisso’s long ball and be­daz­zled Caen de­fender Chaker Al­had­hur be­fore squeez­ing a shot in off the far post.

Tolisso also had a hand in the third, pass­ing the ball to Mathieu Val­buena who set up Fekir for a first-time shot, shortly be­fore the hour.

Caen had de­fender Damien Da Silva sent off in the 73rd for a reck­less tackle on Clau­dio Beau­vue, cap­ping a bad af­ter­noon for the hosts.

Beau­vue net­ted late on with a strike into the far top cor­ner from a tricky an­gle.

Caen had threat­ened to level when the score was 1-0. Andy Delort sent a free kick crash­ing off the cross­bar and Lopes was forced into a string off fine saves.

Lyon moved into fifth and has seven points from its open­ing four matches, one more than Caen.

Teenage for­ward Di­dier Bouanga lev­eled for Lori­ent al­most im­me­di­ately af­ter half­time fol­low­ing Gae­tan Char­bon­nier’s 24th-minute opener.

How­ever, Ni­co­las de Pre­ville re­stored Reims’ lead six min­utes later be­fore goals from Gre­john Kyei and Atila Tu­ran en­sured Olivier Gue­gan’s team moved top for at least 24 hours.

“I don’t look at the ta­ble,” Gue­gan said. “I look at the num­ber of points and nine out of 12 is very sat­is­fy­ing. We have a fort­night ahead of us to re­cu­per­ate and plan for another se­ries of five matches. We have to be am­bi­tious, and our first am­bi­tion will be pre­pare well for the match against Toulouse, to win it.”

Rennes also has nine points. Martin Braith­waite put Toulouse ahead when he fin­ished off a well-worked team move in the fifth minute but Steeve Yago equal­ized when he turned into his own net in the 17th.

The home side dom­i­nated af­ter the in­ter­val and went ahead in the 67th minute af­ter Toulouse goal­keeper Mauro Goicoechea brought down Gio­vanni Sio in the penalty area. Goicoechea thought he had re­deemed him­self by par­ry­ing Syl­vain Ar­mand’s spot-kick but the Rennes cap­tain fired in the re­bound.

Sio sealed the match in stop­page­time.

Newly-pro­moted Angers is a point be­hind af­ter be­hind held to a 1-1 draw at home to Nice.

De­spite tak­ing the lead through Thomas Man­gani, Angers was pre­vented from go­ing top by Valere Ger­main’s equal­izer but it main­tained its un­beaten record.

Else­where, Sofi­ane Bo­ufal’s strike was enough to give Lille a first win as it won 1-0 at Ajac­cio, which is still with­out a goal af­ter four rounds.

Mont­pel­lier is also goal­less, but it picked up its first point of the sea­son with a 0-0 draw at Troyes. It was the only side yet to record a point af­ter Guig­namp beat Mar­seille 2-0 on Fri­day.

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