Marseille in shock loss to four-tier Grenoble in French Cup
PARIS (AP) — Fourth-tier Grenoble came from behind three times before producing the first “giant killing” of the French Cup with a 5-4 win on penalties over league leader Marseille on Sunday.
Other top-flight favorites avoided falling at the first hurdle as Lyon, Monaco and Bordeaux all progressed to the round of 32.
France forward Andre-Pierre Gignac scored a first-half brace but the 10-time winners failed to hold on to their lead on a very poor surface at the Stade des Alpes, with the teams locked 3-3 after extra time
Mourad Nasrallah and Fares Hachi canceled out Gignac’ goals before Ghana winger Andre Ayew looked to have scored the winner in extra time with a tap-in from close range. But Grenoble captain Selim Bengriba then headed home a last-second equalizer to take Marcelo Bielsa’s side to a penalty shootout.
“I don’t have the technical qualities of the best players but I have strong mental abilities,” Bengriba said. “I’m not used to score goals and I scratched my knees afterward (while celebrating)”
Former Grenoble player Florian Thauvin missed from the spot during the shootout and Nasrallah sent Brice Samba the wrong way to knock out Marseille.
“There is no point analyzing this match,” Bielsa said. “This is an unacceptable result and I’m mainly responsible for it.”
After a strong first half to the season that saw it climb to second in the league standings, Lyon picked up where it left off before the Christmas break and quickly built a 3-0 lead before resisting a late charge from Lens to win 3-2.
Monaco was in control from the start against second-division side Nimes and won 2-0 with goals from Bernardo Silva and Valere Germain, while Bordeaux defeated Toulouse 2-1.
Guingamp began its title defense with a 3-0 victory at fifth-tier side Dinan Lehon and Franck Tabanou scored the winner seven minutes into extra time with a half-volley into the top corner as Saint-Etienne scrapped to a 1-0 win over Nancy.
Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette, the leading goal scorer in the league with 17 goals, netted a penalty after Nabil Fekir opened the scoring and Mouhamadou Dabo then extended the visitors’ lead to 3-0 after only 30 minutes. Alharbi El Jadeyaoui pulled one back 14 minutes from time and Adamo Coulibaly ensured a nervy finish after heading home in the 90th minute.
“We should not be allowed to frighten ourselves like that,” said Lacazette. “It’s always a pleasure to be decisive, it’s good for the group.”
Monaco was offered a strong resistance from Nimes, with the second tier side looking for redemption after making the headlines in a suspected match fixing case that is still ongoing. Leonardo Jardim’s side went ahead in the 33rd minute and waited until added time to seal its spot in the next round.
“We continue our good string of results with a seventh consecutive win,” Jardim said. “It was our first match after the break, the pitch was not good and the players were not at 100 percent, but we showed the good attitude and solidarity.”
Paris Saint-Germain visits Montpellier on Monday.