PARIS - Title-chasing Olympique Marseille extended their strong start to the Ligue 1 season with a 1-0 win over Lille on Sunday.
Brazilian forward Brandao headed home the winner from a corner on 11 minutes to enable Marseille to join champions Girondins Bordeaux and surprise package Nancy on maximum points after two games.
Marseille, forced to play their first home match of the season at Montpellier after a stage built for a Madonna concert collapsed at their Velodrome stadium last month, were clearly the better side in the first half and wasted many chances to increase their lead.
Lille, who ended up fifth last season to qualify for the Europa League, were more dangerous after the break but had to play the last 25 minutes with 10 men after defender Mathieu Debuchy was sent off for a second booking.
"We suffered at times and could have scored more goals," said new Marseille coach Didier Deschamps, who captained the side when they won the Champions League in 1993, their last trophy to date.
"It's a new team after a lot of changes and we still need to work but the spirit is there, that's the main thing", Deschamps told French television channel Canal Plus.
Two goals in quick succession from Gregory Thil allowed promoted Boulogne-sur-Mer to bounce back from a dismal Ligue 1 debut with a 2-1 home win over Grenoble earlier on Sunday.
Forward Thil opened the scoring on 33 minutes and doubled the advantage five minutes later for the club from the northern fishing port, who lost 3-0 at Stade Rennes in their first match in the top flight last weekend.
Grenoble, who were promoted last season, pulled one back through former Serbia striker Danijel Ljuboja two minutes into the second half.
Rennes failed to notch a second win, managing only a 1-1 draw at Nice in a match played in stifling heat on the French Riviera. The Brittany side finished with 10 men after Japan midfielder Junichi Inamoto was sent off for a second booking on 77 minutes.comments