Wissam Ben Yedder celebrates scoring against Clermont (JEFF PACHOUD)
Monaco captain Wissam Ben Yedder scored twice in a 4-2 win at Clermont on Sunday after he was charged with rape this week, while Strasbourg made a winning start to life under Patrick Vieira by beating Lyon.
France international Ben Yedder on Friday was charged with rape, attempted rape and sexual assault over an alleged incident that happened on the Cote d’Azur in July.
He has been placed under judicial supervision and had to pay bail of 900,000 euros ($987,000).
But the 33-year-old forward started his team’s opening game of the season, striking in both halves as Monaco made a winning start under new Austrian coach Adi Hutter.
“I congratulate him (Ben Yedder), he had a very good reaction,” said Hutter.
“I have purely a sporting relationship with him, from coach to player. We only speak about the pitch and my job is to put the best players out there and he’s among them.”
Mateusz Wieteska put Clermont ahead before Vanderson equalised, with Ben Yedder firing in a rebound off the post to give Monaco the lead shortly before half-time.
Muhammed Cham brought Clermont level at 2-2 but Ben Yedder netted again with 20 minutes to play and Maghnes Akliouche added a fourth in injury time.
Vieira made the perfect start to his first job since being sacked by Premier League club Crystal Palace last season as Strasbourg saw off Lyon, coached by Vieira’s 1998 World Cup-winning France teammate Laurent Blanc, 2-1.
The hosts took a 63rd-minute lead when Jean-Ricner Bellegarde’s free-kick from the left flew all the way into the far corner.
South Africa striker Lebo Mothiba, who was given the nod to start after a strong pre-season, added a second 15 minutes from time, with Nicolas Tagliafico’s goal just a consolation for Lyon.
– Lens stumble –
Last year’s runners-up Lens came unstuck, blowing a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 at Brest earlier in the day.
In spite of losing their influential captain Seko Fofana and striker Lois Openda during the summer break, Lens made a dazzling start to the new season with Florian Sotoca and Deiver Machado putting them two up after just 22 minutes.
Brest, however, hit back just before half-time when Romain del Castillo netted the first of his two penalties.
Brest took the reins in the second half and equalised through Kenny Lala in the 56th minute.
The game appeared to be heading for a draw before Lens substitute Adrien Thomasson was sent off in the 82nd minute and five minutes later Mahdi Camara gave away another penalty.
Up stepped Del Castillo to bury his second spot-kick and snatch the points for Brest.
“What’s disconcerting is to play 40 minutes of this quality, when with a bit more accuracy we should have been leading 3-0 and when there’s only one team on the pitch… and then let certain things go,” said Lens coach Franck Haise.
“We were so passive in so many duels. It was that difference in my team that surprised me. When you do that, you don’t look much like Lens. At least not the Lens we love.”
Rennes thrashed promoted Metz 5-1, while Samuel Grandsir popped up with a late equaliser as Le Havre snatched a 2-2 draw at Montpellier in their first top-flight match since 2009.
Gautier Lloris, younger brother of former France captain Hugo, gave Le Havre the lead before Nigerian forward Akor Adams notched a brace on his Montpellier debut.