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'|
|Coach: L. Blanc|
|O´Neill delighted with second-half display|
|First-half dominance pleases Deschamps|
|Muller criticises Germany profligacy|
|Euro 2016 Qualifying Review: Portugal go top, Gibraltar make history in defeat|
|Liverpool the only English club I could play for - Suarez|
|France 2 Denmark 0: Lacazette off the mark in routine victory|
|Republic of Ireland 1 Poland 1: Long rescues vital point|
|Portugal 2 Serbia 1: Coentrao puts hosts top of Group I|
|Strachan hails ´terrific´ Gibraltar|
|Lafferty back playing with a smile on his face - O´Neill|
|Toure to reveal Ivory Coast future over coming days|
|Georgia 0 Germany 2: Reus and Muller on target for world champions|
|Northern Ireland 2 Finland 1: Lafferty inspires fourth qualifying success|
|Scotland 6 Gibraltar 1: Casciaro´s historic moment outshone by Fletcher´s hat-trick|
|France 2-0 Denmark: Lacazette and Giroud on target|
|Firmino hopeful of Copa America spot|
|Hummels considering options at Dortmund|
|Suarez goalless on Anfield return, but Balotelli nets stunner|
|Casciaro scores first competitive goal for Gibraltar|
|Fleetwood Town 1 Preston North End 1: Ball stunner claims share of derby spoils|
|Italy v England: Judge me on results, says Conte|
|Colombia v Kuwait: Falcao seeking another strong showing|
|Brazil 1 Chile 0: Firmino settles scrappy affair|
|Luxembourg v Turkey: Let´s kick on, urges Terim|
|South Africa 1 Nigeria 1: Zungu strikes late to earn draw|
|Smalling wants long-term United stay|
|South Africa 1-1 Nigeria: Last-gasp Zungu goal cancels out Musa strike|
|Italy call up Santon and Abate for England friendly|
|Switzerland v United States: Klinsmann eyes learning curve|
|Netherlands v Spain: Hiddink has players´ support, says Wijnaldum|
|A-League Review: Sydney end Wellington run, Adelaide suffer injury blows in Jets win|
|Henderson eyes long-term Liverpool future|
|I have nothing to prove - Bale|
|Brazil 1-0 Chile: Firmino gives Selecao battling victory|
|South Korea v New Zealand: All Whites looking to future|
|Japan v Uzbekistan: Hosts eye another win under Halilhodzic|
|MLS Review: Kaka nets in Orlando draw|
|Mexico 1 Ecuador 0: Hernandez, Corona help Herrera´s men to victory|
|Deschamps calls for France response|
|Dunga unfazed by pressure|
|Montenegro fan turns himself in after flare incident|
|Injured Messi not ready - Martino|
|Hodgson: Rooney not close to Charlton|
|Terim proud of Turkey|
|Hiddink happy with point|
|Euro 2016 Qualifying Review: Netherlands and Italy stage late escapes|
|Debutant Eder delighted with Azzurri bow|
|Argentina 2 El Salvador 0: Mancuello nets debut goal in straightforward win|
|Kovac not satisfied despite Croatia victory|
|Netherlands 1 Turkey 1: Huntelaar spares Hiddink from historic home loss|
|Ghana 1 Senegal 2: Konate brace downs Black Stars|
|Bulgaria 2 Italy 2: Controversial debutant Eder rescues Conte´s men|
|Morocco 0 Uruguay 1: Cavani spot-kick seals win|
|Al Sadd say talks with Xavi ongoing|
|McClean slams Sunderland´s handling of poppy controversy|
|Ghana 1-2 Senegal: Black Stars continue Afcon hangover|
|Cheltenham player diagnosed with cancer|
|Palace takeover talk premature - Parish|
|Odegaard becomes Euro qualifiers´ youngest starter|
|Job not done yet, Bale warns Wales|
|Israel 0 Wales 3: Brilliant Bale bags brace as Wales go top|
|Dunga backs Neymar to overhaul Pele´s Brazil goal record|
|League Two Review: Hartlepool climb out of drop zone, Cheltenham go bottom|
|El Salvador 0-2 Argentina: Martino's men triumph without Messi|
|League One Review: Canavan leaves it late to deny County|
|Freddy Adu signs with 11th team in as many years|
|Besiktas deny Cech, Danny rumours|
|Puerto Rico v Canada: Haber targets more momentum|
|Miranda not contemplating Atletico exit|
|Austin relaxed over England prospects|
|Manchester United should sign Ibrahimovic - Schmeichel|
|Ibe eyes Liverpool run-in|
|Bertrand called up by England as withdrawal of four players confirmed|
|A-League Review: Risdon nets stunner, Germano tames Roar|
|Panama v Costa Rica: Unbeaten run a secondary concern for Wanchope|
|Italy coach Conte shaken after death threats - FIGC chief|
|Barca fears over Alba eased|
|Schweinsteiger to start Germany qualifier|
|Akinfeev thanks fans after flare incident|
|Injuries offer Kane chance of first England start|
|Russian Football Union to protest following Montenegro abandonment|
|October comeback the target for injured Foster|
|Van der Vaart looks set to leave Hamburg|
|Bale focused on Wales - Coleman|
|Kluivert helps Curacao to victory|
|Hamstrung Alba returns to Barcelona|
|Macedonia v Australia: Confident visitors eye victory|
|Akinfeev to return to Moscow with Russia squad|
|Brnovic: Montenegro have no chance of qualifying|
|Russia had to resume after Akinfeev incident - Capello|
|Terim: Robben absence important|
|Brazil - Chile Preview: Winning is 'our only option' - Dunga|
|France - Denmark Preview: Olsen hits out at 'disrespectful' hosts|
|Morata keen to keep working|
|Canada 1 Guatemala 0: Haber heads Floro´s men to win|
|Difficult to find a place for Kane in starting XI - Hodgson|
|Difficult to find a place for Kane in starting XI - Hodgson|