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Ligue 1 Review Gameweek 22

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Thrashings from PSG and Monaco were the standout results in Ligue 1 at the weekend but Troyes’ first win of the season was also one of the highlights.

Rennes 1-0 Gazélec Ajaccio

The opening match of the weekend saw Rennes narrowly beat Gazélec Ajaccio, with Rolland Courbis guiding the home side to a win in his first match in charge. The visitors had been in great form for months but their unbeaten run comes to an end as Rennes get their first win in 11 attempts at Roazhon Park.

It looked like it was going to be a goalless draw as the game was drawing to a close, but Roderic Filippi was unfortunate to score an own goal to hand Rennes the three points. Rennes have climbed to 4th in the league after this win and there is no change in position for Gazélec as they remain 5th.

Paris Saint-Germain 5-1 Angers

PSG continue their domination of Ligue 1 as they maintain their 21-point lead at the top of the league after heavily beating high-flying Angers at the Parc des Princes. Both sides had chances to score early on with Lucas Moura and Gregory van der Wiel going close for the hosts and Giles Sunu’s effort failing to test Kevin Trapp in the opposing goal. PSG took the lead after half an hour, Blaise Matuidi picked out Zlatan Ibrahimovic who rifled the ball in with the help of a deflection. Lucas then doubled the lead after some great build-up play from van der Wiel and Angel Di Maria.

The home side were quick to set the pace in the second half too; van der Wiel got on the score sheet himself not long after the restart. Angers did manage to score through an excellent Pierrick Capelle volley but Di Maria soon dashed any hope of a comeback with the final two goals. The first was an impressive volley from the edge of the box and the second was a neat lob over the goalkeeper after an assist from Matuidi. It was another dominant performance from Les Parisians and they would have beaten anyone on the day. Angers drop two places to 5th as a result of this game.

Guingamp 1-0 Bastia

Strugglers Guingamp ended a poor run of results with a win over Bastia that saw them jump out of the relegation zone, dragging Bastia back into the battle. There is now just one point between the sides, with Bastia in 15th and Guingamp in 16th, so both teams are far from safety and need to put a string of consistent results together if they are going to survive in Ligue 1.

The home side nearly scored early on in the second period but Thibault Giresse saw his effort come back off the bar. Bastia’s chance of the win was hugely restricted when two red cards were shown. Floyd Ayite was sent off for a reckless challenge before Yannick Cahuzac was dismissed for man-handling the referee. Guingamp were handed an opportunity to win the game in stoppage time when Jimmy Briand was brought down by Julien Palmieri in the penalty area; Giresse scored from the spot to earn the hosts a huge three points.

Lille 1-3 Troyes

Troyes have had to wait 22 games but they finally have their first win of the season, unexpectedly at Lille who have now gone four games without a win. It was Les Dogues who took the lead through a Sofiane Boufal penalty; he scored after Sebastien Corchia had been brought down by Fabien Camus.

The visitors came back late however; Jimmy Cabot was picked out by Babacar Gueye and leveled the scores. Cabot then scored a second with a volley to keep the Troyes dream alive, before Jeremy Pi added a third to gloss the win on the counter-attack, with Cabot turning provider with the assist. This reduced Troyes’ gap to safety to 12 points while Lille remain 14th, just three points above the bottom three.

Montpellier 1-2 Caen

Caen managed to stay in touch with the European spots after coming from behind at Montpellier to get the three points. This puts the home side back in trouble as they are dragged back into the relegation battle they so desperately tried to evade. Montpellier took the lead midway through the first half when Ramy Bensebaini scored after Alaeddine Yahia failed to deal with a corner.

Goals either side of half-time gave Caen a lead and was enough to secure the victory. Ronny Rodelin scored shortly before the break with a fierce volley. Then the visitors’ talisman struck once again; Andy Delort was delivered a great ball from Emmanuel Imorou and put his side ahead. Caen are now in 7th but Montpellier are back in the danger zone, in 18th.

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Nantes 2-2 Bordeaux

This result was expected given the two sides’ closeness in the league table; a point for Nantes and Bordeaux leaves them 11th and 10th respectively, just one point apart. Les Canaris got off to a dream start when a first minute goal from Kolbeinn Sigthorsson made it 1-0 to the visitors. Nantes then extended their lead to two goals when Alejandro Bedoya was able to head Ermir Lenjani’s cross home.

Les Girondins were not going to give up however, and pulled a goal back in the 83rd-minute through Cheick Diabate. Bordeaux then completed the unlikely comeback minutes later; there was heartbreak for Nantes and especially Lorik Cana, who turned the ball into his own net while trying to defend a corner.

Nice 2-1 Lorient

Another comeback came at the Allianz Riviera where Nice fought back and turned a 1-0 deficit into the three points. The win for Les Aiglons means they have now gone five games unbeaten in Ligue 1, a total contrast from Lorient who have failed to win in their last five outings. This looked to change for Lorient as they took the lead in this match; Yann Jouffre put Les Merlus ahead with a well-hit attempt.

Nice hit back through one of their players of the season. Hatem Ben Arfa’s composed finish was the equaliser and the winner came from a Vincent Koziello volley. This was a big test of character for Nice who are now looking to be strong contenders for a European spot in 3rd, while Lorient sit 12th in the league standings.

Monaco 4-0 Toulouse

Monaco comfortably beat strugglers Toulouse to keep them in contention for a Champions League spot and the visitors’ last win against Reims is looking meaningless as they have followed it up with consecutive losses. Bernardo Silva gave the hosts the lead when he was played through by Lacina Traore to finish with a goal. The lead was then doubled by Fabio Coentrao, who showed great reactions to tap in a rebound after a previous effort came back off the crossbar.

Les Pitchouns had a fantastic chance to pull a goal back when they were awarded a penalty after Ricardo Carvalho handled inside the area. Wissam Ben Yedder failed to take advantage of this opportunity however; his spot-kick was saved by Danijel Subasic. Guido Carrillo added a third later in the match after some great link-up play with Joao Moutinho and Bernardo Silva. The fourth came in the latter stages; Moutinho’s set pieces caused the Toulouse defence even more problems when his free-kick found Helder Costa to make the scoreline even more emphatic. Toulouse are 19th in the table, three points from safety, while Monaco continue to fly high in 2nd.

Reims 1-1 Saint-Étienne

Relegation-threatened Reims managed to get a late point against Saint-Étienne. Les Verts will be disappointed by this result as this year is a great opportunity to get into the Champions League with Marseille and Lyon struggling. After a goalless first half, Saint-Étienne took the lead through Jean-Christophe Bahebeck guided the ball home after he was fed by Alexander Soderlund.

With the final whistle approaching, a last ditch delivery from Jaba Kankava found Aissa Mandi to stab the ball in at the back post. Reims are still without a win in six outings but this point is a good one, keeping them in 17th; a point outside of the bottom three. Saint-Étienne are 6th and hanging onto a European spot by goal difference.

Lyon 1-1 Marseille

Lyon came from a goal down to rescue a point against Marseille to avoid falling behind Les Olympiens in the league. Steve Mandanda was one of the star performers during the game, making a number of saves to deny Mathieu Valbuena and Alexandre Lacazette. Marseille’s opening goal was an excellently worked team goal; Michy Batshuayi expertly set up Remy Cabella from Bouna Sarr’s cross and Cabella fired the ball in from inside the box.

Les Gones deserved at least a point and had numerous chances to score; the breakthrough came with less than a quarter of an hour to go. Valbuena’s fine delivery from a free-kick found Corentin Tolisso to score the equaliser. These sides have two contrasting runs of form; Marseille have now gone unbeaten in nine games while Lyon have won just once in the last nine. They are tied on 30 points with Marseille in 8th and Lyon in 9th and remarkably have just half of league leaders PSG’s points tally.

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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