PARIS, France (AP) — Midfielder Benoit Cheyrou scored with a sweetly-struck volley as Marseille earned a hard-fought 1-0 win at newly-promoted Reims yesterday.
Reims, a two-time European Cup runner-up to Real Madrid in 1956 and '59 during their heyday, had the better of the chances until Marseille started to get on top in the last 20 minutes.
Reims goalkeeper Kossi Agassa was well beaten in the 77th minute when midfielder Charles Kabore curled over a floating cross from the right and Cheyrou sprinted onto it and volleyed the ball firmly across Agassa and into the bottom right corner.
In Saturday's matches, Paris Saint-Germain needed two goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic to rally from 2-0 down and draw 2-2 at home to Lorient. Defending champion Montpellier drew 1-1 at home to Toulouse on Friday.
Marseille looked tired at times, playing just three days after facing Turkish side Eskisehirspor in the Europa League play-offs.
But although Marseille had longer spells of possession, Reims had the better chances and goalie Steve Mandanda saved Marseille twice in an entertaining first half.
In the 14th minute, Mandanda sprawled to his right to push away striker Gaetan Courtet's powerful header. Then, close to halftime, he thwarted Reims again when he stretched out his right leg to kick away Kamel Ghilas' effort after the striker met a cross from the right.
In Saturday's other matches, it was: Evian 2, Bordeaux 3; Nancy 1, Brest 0; Nice 0, Ajaccio 1; Rennes 0, Lyon 1; Saint-Etienne 1, Lille 2; Sochaux 2, Bastia 3, and Troyes 0, Valenciennes 1.