PARIS (AFP) - Reigning champions Bordeaux raced two points clear in the French league on Sunday after a 4-0 thrashing of Nice which made it three wins out of three for Laurent Blanc's men.
With Lyon, seven-time champions between 2002 and 2008, and Paris St Germain having both won on their travels Saturday, the pressure was on Bordeaux to show their class and they did so with a handsome win as goals from Ferreira Jussie, Alou Diarra and a double from Yoann Gourcuff swept Nice aside.
Jussie's opener on the stroke of half-time set the tone just when it seemed that the Girondins might make heavy weather of the task.
The decision of Gourcuff last season to make his way in France after a spell with AC Milan was a boon for Blanc, who has also in the past week managed to persuade another of the club's stars, the mercurial Marouane Chamakh, to stay on despite initial from interest first from Arsenal, then West Ham in the English Premier League.
Gourcuff was a huge influence in last year's title win and he has started with a bang this term with four goals to his name already.
With Marseille on the horizon next week over at the Stade Velodrome, Bordeaux have done themselves a favour by preparing in the best possible fashion with a big win.
Marseille coach Didier Deschamps was left overnight to ponder the loss of his club's first points of the campaign after a 1-1 draw at Rennes following a spate of late missed chances.
"We will have matches like that and Rennes will give many a team a tough game," said France's 1998 World Cup-winning captain.
"You have to be realistic. The way the match went it's a point gained in some respects," he maintained after his men had to come back from a Jerome Leroy penalty for Rennes on the half hour after Suleimane Diawara had handled in the box.
A close-range volley from Mamadou Niang seven minutes after the restart gave Marseille their goal but Rennes keeper Nicolas Douchez made a series of fine late stops to deny the visitors the chance of going top.
Instead, they share second spot with Lyon and Paris St Germain, seeking only their third title and first since 1994.
Peguy Luyindula's opener and further goals from Mevlut Erding and Christophe Jallet were enough to keep Antoine Kombouare's Parisians motoring following a 3-2 win at Valenciennes, for whom Siaka Tiene and Rudy Mater were on target.
Lyon raced past Auxerre 3-0 with Jean-Alain Boumsong, Jean II Makoun and Miralem Pjanic all hitting the net for Claude Puel's side.
Elsewhere, Nancy lost their early leadership of the table as they slid to a 2-1 loss at modest Le Mans.
Monaco, shocked 4-0 last week at Nancy, got back on track with a 2-0 home win over Lorient and the principality side are now one of four clubs on six points.
One of those is promoted Lens, who won 2-1 at Guingamp on Sunday.
There is no respite meanwhile for Saint Etienne, who slumped at their Geoffroy-Guichard stadium to promoted Boulogne 1-0 for a third loss in as many outings.
|8||Y. Gourcuff||53' 70'|
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