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Ligue 1 Review Gameweek 1

It was an enthralling start to this year’s Ligue 1 campaign; with a number of shocks and giant-killings that epitomise the league’s competitive nature. It was an impressive start for the newly promoted sides but a lot more disappointing for those in contention for European football. Here is your Ligue 1 Review:


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Lille 0-1 Paris Saint-Germain

Friday night saw PSG begin their title defence with a victory at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy against a resilient Lille team. It wasn’t a comfortable win for PSG following midfielder Adrien Rabiot’s dismissal early on for a second yellow card offence, leaving Les Parisians to play with ten men for over an hour. With Zlatan Ibrahimovic out with a knee injury, PSG lacked the clinical finishing up front, but sealed all three points when Lucas Moura took the ball around the keeper in the 57th-minute to score into an empty net after some excellent team passing.


Bastia 2-1 Rennes

Bastia edged a win in this match despite falling behind to a Giovanni Sio header in the 39th-minute. In a game which wasn’t full of attacking flair, the hosts made the pivotal comeback in the second half with goals from Floyd Ayite and Francois Kamano. The downside to Bastia’s victory was being reduced to ten men in the latter stages of the game after a moment of madness from Brandao; a player with a history of disciplinary issues, including his head butt on PSG’s Thiago Motta last season and an elbow on Yohan Cabaye the year before. Nevertheless, a good start to the season for Les Bleus.


Marseille 0-1 Caen

It is a horrific start to the new season for Marseille after their defeat to Caen, as manager Marcelo Bielsa leaves the club. Caen have beaten Marseille at the Stade Vélodrome for two consecutive seasons now and are fast becoming a side that Marseille struggle to deal with. The home team dominated the statistics in this game with large amounts of possession and throwing everything at the Caen defence, but it was an Andy Delort goal in the 27th-minute which separated the teams after Marseille found Caen’s defensive line to difficult to break down. In a season which looked promising for Marseille they have had a major setback losing their manager; leaving them just one place above the relegation places in the early stages.


Montpellier 0-2 Angers

With Angers back in Ligue 1 following a long absence, they got off to a great start with a victory at Montpellier; a win which was enough to put them at the top of the table going into the second round of fixtures. They don’t seem to be missing last year’s top scorer Jonathan Kodjia with this performance, overcoming a belittled Montpellier side. It was the dream start for Angers with Abdoul Camara firing home in just the 4th-minute after the ball fell kindly for him in the box. Debutant Gilles Sunu wrapped up the points late on; earning a victory that will be a huge confidence booster for Angers ahead of the rest of the season.


Nantes 1-0 Guingamp

It looks as if both teams are missing their star men from last season after Nantes lost Jordan Veretout and Guingamp lost Claudio Beauvue this summer. It was a match with very few clear cut chances and Nantes came out on top in the final few minutes of the game after an unfortunate own goal from Guingamp’s Jeremy Sorbon in the 89th-minute. It was a disheartening loss for Guingamp who sit in the bottom three of the table, but Nantes can count themselves lucky with a well-received three points.


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Nice 1-2 Monaco

Monaco will be looking to challenge PSG for the title this year and have begun the campaign with a respectable win at the Allianz Riviera. It was a nervous start to the game for Monaco as they fell behind to a Valere Germain goal after just seven minutes; a player who left Monaco for Nice this summer. Nice made it very difficult for themselves when defender Olivier Boscagli received a second yellow card just before half-time. Stephan El Shaarawy made his Ligue 1 debut from the bench just before the break, being part of Monaco’s comeback in the second half. Goals from Bernardo Silva and Layvin Kurzawa were enough to ensure Monaco earned maximum points from their opening game.


Troyes 0-0 Gazélec Ajaccio

It was a goalless draw for Ligue 2 champions Troyes and runners-up Gazélec Ajaccio in the first game of their top flight season. Troyes may be the happier team out of the two with the result as they could have easily fallen behind before half-time when Gazélec were awarded a penalty. Tunisian Mohamed Larbi stepped up to take the spot-kick but blazed it over the bar, condemning his team to just the one point in their opening game.


Bordeaux 1-2 Reims

Bordeaux failed to beat Reims last season and it looks like Reims are becoming the bogey side for Les Girondins yet again. Bordeaux began the game as well as could have been expected, with a Wahbi Khazri goal giving them the lead in the 41st-minute following a poor moment from the opposition’s goalkeeper. Reims’ character and resilience shone through in the second half as they turned a one-goal deficit into a win in the last ten minutes. It was Nicolas de Preville with the equaliser in the 80th-minute and 19-year-old substitute Theoson Jordan Siebatcheu scoring his first Ligue 1 goal to seal the victory. Bordeaux’s defence was very untidy and unorganised; something they will need to correct if they want to make the top six this year.


Toulouse 2-1 Saint-Étienne

Toulouse were also able to complete a comeback this weekend as they overturned a one-goal deficit to beat a struggling Saint-Étienne. Les Verts may be struggling due to losing their top goal scorer last season, Max Gradel, who completed a move to Premier League Bournemouth last week. They took the lead in the 18th-minute when Loic Perrin rose highest to head in the opener from a Romain Hamouma corner. They weren’t in front for long however, as Toulouse’s Martin Braithwaite levelled the game with an impressive free kick just eight minutes later. Attacking midfielder Wissam Ben Yedder put the hosts in front not long after the break and Toulouse managed to hold on to the win. One setback for Toulouse in this game was losing striker Aleksandar Pesic after he received a straight red card just six minutes after he was substituted on.


Lyon 0-0 Lorient

The final game of the weekend saw another goalless draw, this time between Lyon and Lorient. It was not the start to the season that Lyon were hoping for, as the newly constructed attacking line-up of Nabil Fekir, Alexandre Lacazette and debutant Claudio Beauvue failed to get their season underway with goals. Although Lyon were unfortunate, hitting the woodwork on numerous occasions, Lorient have their goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte to thank as he made a number of saves throughout the match that helped to earn his team a point. With a point each on the board, both teams go into the second week sitting in mid-table. One concern for Lyon is over Ligue 1’s top goal scorer last season Lacazette, who went off later in the game clearly in pain over his lower back.

About Mark Sheppard

I am an 18-year-old Journalism and Media student at De Montfort University, Leicester. I enjoy writing, especially about sport because my interests involve football, snooker, rugby, F1 and tennis.

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