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Ligue 1 Review Gameweek 24

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Important wins for Reims and Lyon were the highlight from the latest round of Ligue 1 fixtures.

Monaco 2-0 Bastia

Leonardo Jardim’s Monaco made another step towards attaining a Champions League spot for next season with a win over Bastia. They are now three points clear in 2nd place, while Bastia drop down to 15th, only three points above the bottom three. Monaco thought they had taken an early lead but Bernardo Silva was flagged for offside after putting the ball in the net.

The hosts took the lead with a little bit of luck; Joao Moutinho’s corner deflected off Modesto and found its way in. There was no doubt Monaco deserved to win the game but even their second goal was fortuitous. Silva got on the score sheet when his shot deflected via Sebastien Squillaci to make it 2-0 and hand the home side the victory.

Montpellier 0-1 Marseille

Marseille also continued with their European push and finally managed to turn the one point into three after drawing so many of their previous games. The win ensured they closed the gap on the top six, but pushed Montpellier into the relegation zone.

It took Les Olympiens over an hour to break the deadlock; Romain Alessandrini did well to get the ball to Georges Nkoudou, who finished to score the only goal of the game. Marseille were forced to finish the game with ten men as Florian Thauvin was dismissed for a mistimed challenge on Vitorino Hilton. They have climbed up to 8th with the win, but Montpellier are struggling down in 18th.

Guingamp 4-0 Troyes

Guingamp made another big stride to avoiding a relegation battle with an emphatic home win over a near-relegated Troyes. It took just six minutes for the hosts to take the lead; Mevlut Erding was played through by Jonathan Martins Pereira before finishing with composure. Erding was involved in the second goal too; his shot was saved by Matthieu Dreyer but the rebound fell to Jimmy Briand, who set up Younousse Sankhare to double the lead.

Thibault Giresse added a third from inside the area to seal the win, but there was still time for a fourth and Ludovic Blas was able to score his first Ligue 1 goal to complete the rout. The win took Guingamp to 13th in the table but Troyes’ troubles continue as they are rock bottom, 15 points from safety.

Lille 1-0 Caen

Les Dogues’ first win of 2016 came at a good time as the teams below them picked up points. They are 14th in Ligue 1 after they won their first match in six attempts, but it was a shock against Caen who remain 6th.

Lille were dominant from the offset and had good chances through Renato Civelli and Sebastian Corchia, but they had to wait an hour for the breakthrough. Adama Soumaoro was picked out by Eric Bautheac from a corner and his near-post header was too much for Remy Vercoutre. Caen’s hopes of a comeback were dashed when Jordan N’Kololo was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Lyon 3-0 Bordeaux

Alexandre Lacazette and Lyon returned to form in style as they beat Bordeaux to get only their second win in the last ten matches. It took nearly the full duration of the first half for Les Gones to take the lead; Corentin Tolisso played Lacazette through on goal and the striker took the ball around Paul Bernardoni before tapping the ball into an empty net. Bordeaux failed to make their chances count and were punished as a result. Lacazette was able to capitalize on a defensive mishap to double the hosts’ lead.

With the game already out of Les Girondins’ reach, Lyon added a third goal through Aldo Kalulu. He was able to bring the ball down and unleash a fierce strike past Bernardoni to clinch the victory. Lyon are now 10th and level with Bordeaux on points; only goal difference is keeping the visitors in 11th place.

Nantes 3-1 Gazélec Ajaccio

Nantes managed to earn back-to-back wins on Wednesday as they heaped more pressure on Gazélec. Les Canaris were able to temporarily sneak into the European spots following the win but they are now 7th, while Gazélec’s three consecutive defeats have seen them fall to 17th, just one point above the bottom three. The home side were able to score two goals in quick succession; the first came in the 14th-minute through Emiliano Sala and Alejandro Bedoya took advantage of a Jacques Zoua mistake to make it two.

The visitors pulled a goal back to give themselves hope of a fightback. Kevin Mayi fired an attempt towards goal midway through the first half which Remy Riou failed to keep out. Amos Youga made matters very difficult for Gazélec when he was dismissed for a challenge on Guillaume Gillet. Adryan was on hand to wrap up the points for Nantes; Sala was able to knock the ball down to give the midfielder an easy finish.

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Nice 1-0 Toulouse

Hatem Ben Arfa was on target once again for Nice as they narrowly defeated Toulouse at the Allianz Riviera. Les Pitchouns had an early chance to take the lead but Alexis Blin’s header could only graze the crossbar.

Ben Arfa could have broken the deadlock a little later but failed to take his chance after rounding goalkeeper Alban Lafont. He then made up for his earlier error by putting Les Aiglons ahead with less than ten minutes to play; quite fortunately, his initial effort was saved but the rebound struck Ben Arfa’s knee to bounce into the net. Nice capitalized on Angers dropping points to move up to 3rd in the league standings, while Toulouse remain 19th but have fallen six points short of the safety mark.

Reims 2-1 Angers

One of the shock results was between Reims and Angers, as current form counted for nothing as a struggling Reims side were victorious. The visitors dropped to 4th in the table after dropping points on Wednesday, but Reims were able to climb two places to 16th, moving to the safer side of the bottom three.

It was actually Angers who took the lead; Arnold Bouka Moutou saw his header denied by Johnny Placide but he was able to convert at the second time of asking. Hamari Traore offered a reply for the home side just before the half-time interval when he got ahead of his man before striking the ball home. A goal on the other side of the break was enough for Reims to win the game as Gaetan Charbonnier’s header made it 2-1 to Reims. Matters got worse for Angers late on in the match when Pierrick Capelle was dismissed for a reckless tackle on Franck Signorino.

Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 Lorient

PSG kept up their unbeaten run and made it eight straight wins with a slightly unconvincing victory against Lorient. Edinson Cavani returned to the starting line-up and made an instant impact to put Les Parisians ahead. The Uruguayan was played in by Zlatan Ibrahimovic before rounding the goalkeeper to give his side the lead. Raphael Guerreiro pulled a surprising goal back in the 19th-minute but it was always going to be a tough test to hold on.

The hosts took the lead again after 55 minutes when Ibrahimovic was able to convert Layvin Kurzawa’s cross. The match was settled when Kurzawa got his name on the score sheet just four minutes later; a well-timed volley was perfectly placed in the corner to make it 3-1. This result keeps PSG way ahead at the top of Ligue 1 while Lorient remain 12th.

Rennes 0-1 Saint-Étienne

Saint-Étienne got a much needed win at Rennes as they continue to push for a European place. Les Verts have climbed all the way up to 5th after Thursday’s victory, overtaking Rennes who drop to 9th.

Moustapha Bayal Sall scored the only goal of the game but it took until the 73rd-minute for the deadlock to be broken. It was a much needed win for the visitors who are currently on one of the most inconsistent runs in Ligue 1.

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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