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Five trends of the 2014-15 Premier League

Tactics & Analysis
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By ESPN Staff

Valenciennes and Toulouse joint top

Valenciennes and Toulouse joined Lyon at the top of the fledgling Ligue 1 standings after respective victories over Ajaccio and Nancy on Saturday.

• European gallery Photo Gallery
• Evian 1-1 Lyon

Valenciennes picked up their first home win of the season with a 3-0 triumph over Ajaccio at the Stade du Hainaut.

Strikes from Mamadou Samassa and Loris Nery, and a David Oberhauser own goal, were enough to see off the challenge of the visitors, who had Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi sent off in the first half for a two-footed challenge.

Moussa Sissoko's early strike lifted Toulouse to a 1-0 win over Nancy.

Nancy had their chances to cancel out Sissoko's tenth-minute strike in an open encounter, but saw their hopes hit by the 48th-minute dismissal of Andre Luiz as Toulouse held on to register back-to-back wins.

The pair moved on to seven points from three games alongside Lyon, who drew 1-1 at Evian on Friday night.

Elsewhere, Yann M'Vila showed why several of Europe's top clubs want to sign him with a stunning late winner as Rennes ended the unbeaten start of Bastia and kick-started their own season by beating the ten-man visitors 3-2 in a dramatic match.

Rennes, who came into the game on the back of two defeats, led through Romain Alessandrini's 21st-minute opener but were soon pegged back by Francois Marque.

The hosts led again through Jonathan Pitroipa five minutes before half-time, only for Sylvain Marchal to level again in the 74th minute, even after Bastia had had Araujo Ilan sent off.

But when M'Vila fired in an outstanding third from long range, Bastia were finally defeated.

Lille had to come from behind to claim a point in a hard-fought 2-2 draw with Nice.

The visitors led through Dimitri Payet ten minutes before half-time but Nice quickly levelled through Nemanja Pejcinovic and then snatched the lead when Eric Bautheac volleyed home early in the second half.

Lille needed Djibril Sidibe's equaliser before the hour mark to take a point and finished the game on the back foot.

Lorient twice came from behind to earn a deserved 2-2 draw at Troyes.

Benjamin Nivet's fluke early goal and Mounir Obbadi's second-half strike saw the hosts twice take the lead, but the visitors equalised on each occasion through Maxime Barthelme and an Arnold Mvuemba penalty.

Sloan Privat handed Reims their first victory of the season as his stoppage-time own goal inflicted a third straight defeat on ten-man Sochaux.

The newly-promoted hosts looked set to miss out on a first win when Kamel Ghilas saw his first-half penalty saved.

Sochaux enjoyed the best of the play despite the 37th-minute dismissal of Sebastian Corchia but, in second-half stoppage time, substitute Privat put through his own net to earn Reims a 1-0 win.

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