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Ligue 1 Review Gameweek 18

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A large number of the sides proved difficult to separate at the weekend as there were six 1-1 draws in Ligue 1, with teams failing to take advantage of their rivals dropping points.

Rennes 1-1 Caen

The first game was at Roazhon Park where Rennes drew with Caen. The visitors would have been favourites to win the game but they slipped down to 4th in the league after 10th place Rennes held them to a draw. Caen will be fairly content with the result however as they had to finish the match with just ten men. Emmanuel Imorou was sent off in the first half, meaning it was a very difficult task for Caen to get the victory.

It took Rennes until just past the hour-mark to take advantage of the extra player as Juan Quintero scored to give his side the lead. This looked like it could have been a winner but Caen hit back with just over ten minutes left to play; Syam Ben Youssef pulled a goal back to ensure Rennes went five games without a win. The three points would have taken the hosts into the European spots but they will have to try again in the next game.

Reims 1-1 Nice

Nice finally found the back of the net after three games without scoring but they were held to a draw against strugglers Reims. Valerie Germain scored after just six minutes to give Nice the hope of a strong performance and a good result but Les Aiglons were pegged back within the final quarter of an hour when Vincent Koziello conceded a penalty after handling the ball in the area.

Diego stepped up to get Reims back in the match and he didn’t waste the opportunity to equalise. Theoson Siebatcheu nearly earned maximum points for the home side in the latter stages of the game but his effort was cleared off the line by Maxime Le Marchand. The match did end on a sour note for Reims as their captain Aissa Mandi was shown a straight red card deep into stoppage time. The point leaves Reims in 15th place while Nice move above Lyon to 5th.

Lille 3-0 Lorient

Lille were the league’s second-lowest scorers in the league before finding the net three times against Lorient on Saturday. It was an important win for Les Dogues as well because they have climbed to 11th in the table and have established a four-point gap from the relegation zone. Lorient are just two points above Lille in 8th position.

Eric Bautheac was the star performer in the game and he put the hosts ahead with just under half an hour played when he headed Florent Balmont’s fine cross home. Bautheac was at hand once again in the second period to score the second after Benjamin Lecomte couldn’t hold onto a Yacine Benzia shot. The points were wrapped up in the 84th-minute when Djibril Sidibe made it 3-0 after some great link-up play with Sofiane Boufal. Three consecutive wins for Lille suggests they are starting to perform as they are expected to because they are now only three points from the European spots.

Montpellier 2-1 Guingamp

Guingamp made hard work for themselves once again as they fell a man short in the game against Montpellier, allowing the hosts to make a comeback to win the match. The visitors took the lead after just over half an hour through a Sloan Privat header, but the game turned on its head just two minutes later when Nicolas Benezet was dismissed.

This completely changed the game as it gave Montpellier an easy route back into the match. La Paillade took advantage of the extra man in the 54th-minute when an excellent cross from Ryad Boudebouz landed on the head of Souleymane Camara who scored the equaliser. Rodrigue Ninga has been the standout player for Montpellier in the last few games and he got on the score sheet once again after some neat work from Jerome Roussillon and Camara. The victory takes Montpellier up to 13th in the league, just four points below the top six, while Guingamp have fallen into the bottom three after Bastia picked up a point.

Nantes 1-1 Toulouse

Nantes were held to a draw at home to struggling Toulouse as the former failed to escape the threat of relegation and the latter didn’t manage to make up any ground on those sides dropping points. The first half ended goalless but Toulouse took the lead after 53 minutes when Aleksandar Pesic did well to get past the defence and finish from a difficult angle to make it 1-0.

Just as it looked as though the visitors may be heading for a much-needed win, Emiliano Sala popped up for Les Canaris to turn a Johan Audel cross into the back of the net to dash the hopes of Toulouse. Matters got worse for the away side in stoppage time when Issa Diop was given a straight red card after a push on Thomas Henry. The result leaves Toulouse still in 19th, while Nantes are 12th after falling below Lille.

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Troyes 1-1 Bastia

Troyes are showing signs of improvement after picking up another point at home to Bastia, but they are still without a win this season and are 12 points from safety. Unsurprisingly it was the visitors who took the lead midway through the first half when Seko Fofana was played in by Floyd Ayite before calmly finishing.

The hosts struck back in the second half however, with Jimmy Cabot volleying the ball home in spectacular fashion from a corner. It was a point that early turned into three for Troyes right at the end as Bastia’s Ayite inadvertently struck his own post before the goal scorer Fofana denied Matthieu Saunier with a goal line clearance. The draw was no good for either side really, as Troyes remain at the bottom of the table and Bastia are 17th, only outside of the bottom three on goal difference.

Monaco 1-0 Saint-Étienne

Monaco look to be back to their old ways again after earning a second consecutive win and going five games unbeaten following the victory over Saint-Étienne. It wasn’t convincing however, as it just took a late penalty to settle the match. The hosts were closest to taking the lead in the first half but Helder Costa could only direct his header onto the crossbar after 18 minutes. Stephane Ruffier was also to thank for keeping Les Verts in the game as he made a number of key saves, particularly from a long range Joao Moutinho shot.

If Saint-Étienne weren’t already up against it, the likelihood of a result decreased when Kevin Malcuit was dismissed for a second bookable offence. Monaco continued to press and got their reward within the final ten minutes of the match; Pierre-Yves Polomat handled the ball in the area to give the home side an opportunity to take the lead from the spot. Fabinho stepped up to take the penalty and made no mistake as he won the game to guide Monaco to 3rd in Ligue 1. Saint-Étienne however, have failed to win in their last three outings and have slipped out of the European spots to 7th.

Angers 1-1 Bordeaux

An out-of-sorts Bordeaux travelled to high-flying Angers on Sunday and got a respectable draw, and it was Les Girondins who took the lead in the first half through Diego Rolan. Before the goal, both sides had chances to break the deadlock with Wahbi Khazri going close for the visitors before Angers’ Billy Ketkeophomphone was denied at the other end of the field.

Angers had an unbeaten run to maintain and they finally started to grow into the game later in the second half. Their pressure was rewarded in the 83rd-minute when Romain Thomas reacted quickest from a Ketkeophomphone corner to level the scores. The late goal ensured Angers remain 2nd on goal difference ahead of Monaco, whereas Bordeaux are still struggling in 14th.

Marseille 1-1 Gazélec Ajaccio

The sixth 1-1 draw of the weekend came at the Stade Vélodrome where Marseille came from behind to snatch a point against Gazélec. The visitors were given a chance to take the lead in the 19th-minute when Marseille’s Benjamin Mendy conceded a penalty. Jacques Zoua found the back of the net to give Gazélec hope of getting the three points.

This was not the case however as Michy Batshuayi pulled a goal back for Les Olympiens after a great ball from Remy Cabella. A worrying moment came shortly after the second period restart for Marseille when Abdelaziz Barrada was shown a debatable red card for a foul on John Tshibumbu, but they were able to prevent Gazélec from taking the lead once again. The visitors are now unbeaten in eight but have just dropped down to 16th, while Marseille haven’t really lost any ground and sit 9th in the Ligue 1 standings.

Paris Saint-Germain 5-1 Lyon

Sunday’s big match was supposed to be a thrilling encounter between two top sides, but PSG turned it into a whitewash as they thrashed Lyon 5-1. Les Parisians were dominant from the offset and were 2-0 up after just 17 minutes. Thiago Silva played a route one ball up to the front men for the first; Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa gave the ball straight to Zlatan Ibrahimovic who fired the ball past Anthony Lopes. Lyon were missing Alexandre Lacazette who had to sit out with a hamstring injury that he picked up in the Champions League game. Angel Di Maria got another assist to his name as he picked out Serge Aurier at the back post for the second. Jordan Ferri did manage to score for Lyon midway through the half in bizarre fashion; his shot from range looked fairly comfortable for Kevin Trapp but the German keeper pushed the ball straight over his head into the net.

Di Maria was involve once again, as his dangerous ball across the Lyon box was perfect for Edinson Cavani to grab his 10th goal of the season. Ibrahimovic then won and converted from the spot to grab PSG’s fourth, and his seventh goal in six games. Lucas Moura came off the bench and scored a goal that is typical of the Brazilian; after yet another assist from Di Maria he made a break into the box before rifling the ball past a helpless Lopes to complete the rout. PSG remain unbeaten this season and with the teams below them dropping points, they have established a 17-point lead at the top of the table. Lyon have just dropped down to 6th as only Nice were able to take advantage of their defeat.

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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