Ligue 1 round-up: Patrick Vieira beaten in first Nice game by Reims
By Associated Press
Last Updated: 11/08/18 11:31pm
Patrick Vieira's first match in charge of Nice ended in a 1-0 home defeat to Reims in Ligue 1.
The former France and Arsenal midfielder was not helped by the fact he had no recognised striker with Mario Balotelli, last season's top scorer, suspended and Alassane Plea sold during the summer.
That left Vieira with midfielder Bassem Srarfi as a makeshift forward, and the Tunisia international was ineffective, while midfield counterpart Moussa Doumbia scored for Reims after just three minutes.
Radamel Falcao came off the bench to score and set up another goal as Monaco opened their campaign with a 3-1 win at Nantes.
The veteran Colombia striker came off the bench and things soon livened up, with Stevan Jovetic setting up a Rony Lopes header in the 69th minute.
With 10 minutes left, Falcao gathered a high ball near halfway and intelligently flicked the ball over his head into the path of Jovetic, who scored with a cool finish.
Three minutes later, Falcao was celebrating after tapping in Samuel Grandsir's low cross from the right, after Grandsir was freed by Jovetic's measured pass inside the penalty area. Nantes salvaged some pride through striker Emiliano Sala's goal in the second minute of injury time.
In the first game of the season on Friday night, attacking midfielder and former West Ham man Dimitri Payet scored twice as Marseille beat Toulouse 4-0.
Valere Germain and Florian Thauvin were also on target for the Europa League runners-up.
Nimes celebrated their first match in the top flight since 1993 with a dramatic 4-3 win at Angers.
Nimes, nicknamed The Crocodiles, struck first in the fifth minute. They then trailed 3-1 before pulling a goal back in the 77th through striker Clement Depres, but two minutes later, they had defender Florian Miguel sent off for a second yellow card. Even then, they scored twice in the last four minutes with Depres netting an 88th-minute winner.
Lille relied heavily on Nicolas Pepe's goals to narrowly avoid relegation last season, and the striker was on target again as they beat Rennes 3-1 at home. Jonathan Bamba and Lebo Mothiba also scored.
Forward Whabi Khazri scored on his Saint-Etienne debut in a 2-1 home win against Guingamp, with Marcus Thuram, son of former France defender Lilian Thuram, scoring for the visitors.
Montpellier took an early lead but succumbed to a 2-1 home defeat to Dijon, with defender Senou Coulibaly grabbing an injury-time winner.