Courbis stays calm as Lens race to good start

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The Independent Online

Racing Lens and Bastia set the early pace in the French league by securing second consecutive wins on Saturday.

Racing Lens and Bastia set the early pace in the French league by securing second consecutive wins on Saturday.

Second-half goals by Lamine Sakho and a substitute, El-Hadji Diouf, gave Lens a hard-earned 3-2 triumph over promoted Guingamp; while a double strike in the second half by Frédéric Née helped Bastia beat a disappointing Bordeaux side 2-0.

Both teams have six points with two matches gone but Lens went top because of their higher number of goals scored. "Being the leaders tonight doesn't mean much," the Lens coach Rolland Courbis said. "There are 32 matches to go."

The former Arsenal and Real Madrid striker, Nicolas Anelka, made his Paris St-Germain debut as a 57th-minute replacement for Ali Benarbia in the 1-1 draw at Stade Rennes.

"Nicolas's performance satisfied me," said the Paris coach, Philippe Bergeroo. "He didn't play for long but he had to cope with two defenders on his back all the time."

Rennes went ahead through Cyril Chapuis in the 28th minute but Stéphane Dalmat levelled when he beat his former team-mate, Bernard Lama, with 15 minutes to go.

Promoted Lille, who held Monaco 1-1 the previous weekend, had another good result by crushing Strasbourg 4-0 away to put them in third place.

Djibril Cissé saved Auxerre for the second time in less than a week by scoring the winner two minutes from time to beat Metz 2-1. He had helped the Burgundy side into the Intertoto Cup final round when Auxerre beat Germany's Wolfsburg 2-1 on Wednesday.

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