PARIS (AP) — Substitute Lucas Ocampos snatched a late winner for Marseille as the nine-time champions won a pulsating match at Nantes 1-0 to stay perfect two rounds into the French league on Saturday.
Nantes’ new goalkeeper, Ciprian Tatarusanu, impressed in his debut, making good saves in the first half. But he was powerless in the 88th minute when Ocampos slotted home a scrappy, close-range effort from Florian Thauvin’s cross.
Nantes came close to equalizing in stoppage time when Emilinao Sala’s header was inches wide, moments after he hit the crossbar with another header.
“I’m sad because we worked hard to win this match,” Sala said.
Nantes remained winless, while Marseille moved to level on points with leader Lyon.
Saint-Etienne, Bordeaux, Angers, and Toulouse were also winners.
Tatarusanu, who signed from Serie A club Fiorentina this offseason, delivered an excellent performance as bad luck hit the hosts at La Beaujoire Stadium.
Following a 3-0 lackluster loss to Lille in its season-opener last weekend, Nantes hoped for a better showing against Marseille, but coach Claudio Ranieri was forced to make his three substitutions within the first 24 minutes.
Skipper Valentin Rongier hurt an elbow after just 12 minutes, Yacine Bammou followed eight minutes later with a thigh injury, and Alexander Kacaniklic injured a leg.
Ironically, Nantes played better following the substitutions and was the better team after the interval. But it lacked precision in the final third despite some spirited moves.
SAINT-ETIENNE STAYS PERFECT
Saint-Etienne made it two wins in two games for the first time since 2014 with a 1-0 victory at Caen.
Caen goalkeeper made several good saves to keep his team afloat and was helped by his crossbar on one occasion before Romain Hamouma broke the deadlock with his 28th goal in the topflight.
Hamouma won his duel with Vercoutre with a shot between the ‘keeper’s legs in the…