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Ligue 1 Review Gameweek 25

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Big wins for Monaco and Saint-Étienne ensured they kept pressing for a high European space, while Reims made another big step towards avoiding relegation in this 25th round of Ligue 1 games.

Monaco 1-0 Nice

Monaco made a huge step in their bid to securing a spot in next season’s Champions League with a narrow victory against fellow European-contending Nice. The hosts had to win this match the hard way when Fabio Coentrao was forced off with an injury in the first quarter of an hour. Within minutes of the second half, Nabil Dirar was dismissed after picking up two yellow cards in quick succession.

This didn’t seem to faze Leonardo Jardim’s side who struck late to seal all three points. Tiemoue Bakayogo headed in Joao Moutinho’s delivery with less than ten minutes to play to give Monaco some breathing space in 2nd place. Nice were able to stay 3rd however, just above Saint-Étienne on goal difference.

Angers 0-3 Lyon

Visitors Lyon look to be back on form after their second 3-0 victory in a row, this time over Angers. It was a fast start from Les Gones and Angers suddenly found themselves a goal down and a man down early on. Christophe Jallet pounced on an Ismael Traore error to give Lyon the lead, before Thomas Mangani was sent off for a reckless challenge. Jallet turned provider for the second goal, teeing up Rachid Ghezzal to hit an excellent strike and double the lead.

The points were wrapped up inside the last ten minutes of the match when Mathieu Valbuena picked out Corentin Tolisso to add a third. This win sees Lyon move just inside the top six, whereas back-to-back defeats means Angers slip to 5th in the league standings.

Bastia 2-0 Troyes

Another poor result at Bastia means Troyes have now suffered three successive losses; failing to score in each of them. Floyd Ayite was on target for the hosts as his brace earned Bastia a comfortable victory over the league’s bottom side. His first came in the opening ten minutes when he found himself able to run through the Troyes defence and finish to break the deadlock.

Things were made difficult for the home side however, as goalkeeper Jean-Louis Leca was given his marching orders after he brought down Chris Mavinga outside of the box. Troyes’ advantage was soon wiped off though; Brayan Perea was dismissed before Fabien Camus was also sent off after conceding a penalty. Ayite scored the resulting spot-kick in the 81st-minute to see the game out. Troyes are now 16 points from safety, while this important victory for Bastia takes them up to 14th.

Caen 0-2 Reims

Another needed Reims win means they have now won two in a row; the first time since the opening two games of the campaign. The visitors are still very much in a relegation battle but impressive wins against high-flyers Angers and now Caen means they have moved up to 16th, three points above the drop zone. Caen have now dropped out of the top six after suffering two consecutive losses, falling to 8th.

Thievy Bifouma gave Reims a deserved lead when he headed Nicolas De Preville’s cross past a helpless Remy Vercoutre. The lead was doubled shortly past the hour mark when Prince Oniangue was quickest to react when his initial effort was saved. Caen’s best chance came when Andy Delort was played through on goal, only to be outsmarted by Johnny Placide.

Gazélec Ajaccio 0-0 Guingamp

Gazélec will be fairly content with a point against fellow relegation battlers Guingamp, but they may feel it should have been all three after playing with an extra man for over 80 minutes. Lionel Mathis was sent off after just eight minutes when an irresponsible tackle forced John Tshibumbu off the pitch.

The hosts couldn’t muster any clear-cut chances, but the best opportunity in the first half was Jacques Zoua’s attempt which failed to trouble the goalkeeper. Khalid Boutaib and Issiaga Sylla had the better chances in the second period, but neither could make them count. Gazélec remain one point above the bottom three in 17th, while Guingamp are now unbeaten in six games, in 13th.

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Lorient 1-1 Montpellier

Lorient had to come from a goal down to secure a point against Montpellier, despite having a man sent off earlier in the match. Les Merlus were reduced to ten men not long before the half-time interval when Francois Bellugou lashed out at Ryad Boudebouz. To rub salt into the wounds of Lorient, the visitors took the lead on the stroke of half-time through Kevin Berigaud.

The lead didn’t last long though as Lorient leveled shortly after the restart when Jimmy Cabot was able to stroke home the equaliser. Salvaging a point kept Lorient in 12th, but Montpellier are still in danger of being relegated as they currently sit 18th in the league table.

Toulouse 0-0 Nantes

Nantes’ unbeaten streak goes on as they held Toulouse to a goalless draw at the Stadium Municipal. Jean-Daniel Akpa-Akpro should have done better with his early effort for Les Pitchouns but he dragged his shot the wrong side of the post.

Les Canaris’ keeper Remy Riou was on top form to keep his side in the game; denying Oscar Trejo and Akpa-Akpro in the second period. Alban Lafont was also reliable when called upon in the Toulouse goal as he expertly saved efforts from Adryan later in the game. The hosts remain six points from safety in the league in 19th, but Nantes are still going strong in 7th.

Lille 1-1 Rennes

Lille are still not safe from the threat of relegation and they put even more pressure on themselves with a draw at home to Rennes. Les Dogues actually took the lead late in the first half; Rennes gave away a cheap corner and Eder was able to score as a result. Things then got difficult for the home side when Sofiane Boufal was dismissed for a second bookable offence.

Unsurprisingly, Rennes found a route back into the game, with a little help from the referee who awarded the visitors a penalty when Paul-Georges Ntep was brought down by Adama Soumaoro. Ousmane Dembele was able to convert the spot-kick to ensure Rennes went home with a point. Lille are just 15th and only four points above the relegation zone, whereas Rennes slip down to 9th after dropping points.

Bordeaux 1-4 Saint-Étienne

Saint-Étienne move into the top four for the first time in months as they won emphatically at Bordeaux on Sunday. It was a very fast start from Les Verts, as they went 2-0 up after just seven minutes; a Vincent Pajot header and a goal from Osama Tannane gave the visitors some breathing space. Cedric Yambere pulled one back for Bordeaux and it looked like they could have made a comeback when Paul Bernardoni saved Alexander Soderlund’s penalty.

This wasn’t to be however, as Soderlund redeemed himself with a header to make it 3-1, before Nolan Roux added a fourth later on to cap an impressive performance. The game got even worse for Les Girondins just before the final whistle when Cheick Diabate was sent off. Saint-Étienne are only 4th in the league on goal difference, behind Nice, while Bordeaux remain mid-table in 11th.

Marseille 1-2 Paris Saint-Germain

PSG were made to work for a result against a battling Marseille side, and they were able to get all three points thanks to Angel Di Maria. Les Parisians made the perfect start with a Zlatan Ibrahimovic goal inside the first two minutes; the fastest ever goal in Le Classique. Marseille were able to fight back with a moment of excellence from Remy Cabella. He ran roughly 50 yards with the ball before firing a fierce shot that nutmegged David Luiz along the way to beat Kevin Trapp.

Di Maria and Lucas Moura wasted good opportunities for the visitors while Michy Batshuayi had a header cleared off the line by Maxwell; any side could have been leading at half-time. PSG grew stronger as the game went on and got their reward in the 71st-minute. Ibrahimovic beat Steve Mandanda before picking out Di Maria to slot home the winner. PSG remain top of the league and have now gone 34 league matches without defeat, but Les Olympiens have dropped to 10th after this narrow 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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