Beckham makes winning PSG debut
A review of the weekend's action in the French Ligue 1.
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David Beckham and enjoyed the perfect start as a PSG player as his new side struck a vital blow in their bid to win the Ligue 1 title with a 2-0 victory over Marseille.
Former England captain Beckham joined PSG on a five-month deal last month and came off the bench to make his debut at the Parc des Princes, helping to lay on Zlatan Ibrahimovic's injury-time clincher.
The opener had arrived from a player signed with the long-term in mind, with Lucas Moura, a fellow January arrival, scoring a deflected first-half goal.
The upshot was that Carlo Ancelotti's men saw off one of their fellow title challengers and moved three points ahead of Lyon at the top.
Lyon had earlier kept up the pressure on PSG after coming from behind to beat Lorient 3-1 and register their first home win of 2013.
The visitors took the lead at the Stade Gerland in the 11th minute through Jeremie Aliadiere's header before Lisandro Lopez drew things level in the 24th.
Rachid Ghezzal then put OL in front in the 50th minute and Arnold Mvuemba added their third in stoppage time to secure the victory.
St Etienne kept the pressure on in the battle for Europe in Ligue 1 as they brushed aside rock-bottom Nancy 3-0 to take all the points from a lively encounter that saw both sides finish with 10 men.
Brandao's opener and a brace by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang sealed a routine victory for St Etienne, who have now won five and drawn two of their last seven games and remain beaten away from home in the league in 2013.
The visitors' night was marred by the second-half dismissal of Fabian Lemoine, while Nancy also ended a man light after substitute Florent Zitte was sent off just minutes into his Ligue 1 debut.
The win puts St Etienne fifth, just two points behind third-placed Marseille who are preparing for Sunday's trip to face leaders Paris St Germain.
Montpellier moved up to sixth with a 1-0 win away to Evian, with Younes Belhanda scoring 10 minutes from time in a smash-and-grab raid on their relegation-battling hosts.
Rennes lost ground in the European battle with a 2-2 draw at home to Sochaux, but it would have been worse not for a late leveller from on-loan midfielder Jean Makoun.
Although John Boye had cancelled out Giovanni Sio's opener, Sebastian Corchia had restored Sochaux's lead in the 56th minute, and it held until two minutes from time when Makoun got the crucial touch in a goalmouth scramble to salvage a point.
The dropped points mean Rennes are now only one point above Lille, who ran out comfortable 3-1 winners away to Ajaccio despite playing the final half-hour with 10 men.
Yohann Poulard's own-goal six minutes before half-time put Lille ahead and although Lucas Digne saw red in the 61st minute, a brace from Dmitri Payet wrapped it up before Chakhir Belghazouani's late consolation for the hosts.
Struggling Troyes took a point off Bastia in a 0-0 draw while the mid-table clash between Valenciennes and Toulouse also finished goalless.
On Sunday, Bordeaux suffered a Europa League hangover in a disappointing 2-0 defeat at home to lowly Brest.
A Benoit Tremoulinas own goal and a late Ahmed Kantari penalty confirmed a third consecutive Ligue 1 defeat for Les Girondins and left a dent in their hopes of a European spot.
In contrast, Brest's first win in five attempts saw them jump to 14th in the table, five points clear of Evian who occupy the final relegation place.
On Friday night, Nice made it five wins from their last seven Ligue 1 matches with a confident 2-0 victory over 10-man Reims at the Stade du Ray.
Valentin Eysseric's 11th-minute penalty and Renato Civelli's 85th-minute clincher moved the hosts to within a point of third-placed Marseille, who face leaders Paris St Germain on Sunday evening.
Having won just once in their last 18 attempts, defeat for Reims, who had Aissa Mandi sent off for a second booking in the 68th minute, means they remain just a point from safety in 17th place.