Home / Football / European Football / Ligue 1 Review Gameweek 29

Ligue 1 Review Gameweek 29

Embed from Getty Images

The first half of the weekend’s Ligue 1 action saw a shortage of goals, besides Caen getting a vital point against Monaco in their push for a European spot. More goals were flowing in the second half, including 11 in the final two matches.

Caen 2-2 Monaco

One of the surprises of the season, Caen, were looking to chase down Monaco on Friday night but had to come from behind to salvage a late point. The first half ended goalless with neither goalkeeper having to make a save, but Thomas Lemar stepped up in the 55th-minute to give Monaco the lead with an excellent 30-yard free-kick. It didn’t take long for the hosts to get back in the game; Wallace’s handball inside the area gave Julien Feret an opportunity to level from the spot.

Monaco were quick to take the lead again though, a good run from Bernardo Silva made space to get the ball into the box. Caen’s Alaeddine Yahia attempted to clear the ball with Lacina Traore waiting for a tap in, but he inadvertently put the ball into his own net. After drawing their previous two games, it looked as though Monaco were heading for a win but Caen struck back in the 88th-minute; Christian Kouakou scored a bicycle kick from a corner to give his side a share of the points. Results elsewhere didn’t exactly go in Caen’s favour, meaning they dropped to 6th in the league standings, whereas Monaco remain 2nd, six points ahead of Lyon.

Paris Saint-Germain 0-0 Montpellier

PSG were held to another draw on Saturday, this time against strugglers Montpellier at the Parc des Princes. La Paillade are still looking to give themselves some breathing space from the bottom three and this performance will give them a huge boost in confidence. They still have a seven-point gap between them in 15th and the danger zone, while PSG’s 23-point lead at the top is still intact. Edinson Cavani came close for Les Parisians in the first half but only the woodwork stood in his way. It may have been a slightly reserved display from Laurent Blanc’s side, as they prepare for the Champions League trip to Chelsea.

Laurent Pionnier was on form in the Montpellier goal; keeping out Cavani and Angel Di Maria on separate occasions. PSG thought they deserved a penalty in the second half when Benjamin Stambouli appeared to be brought down by Ryad Boudebouz in the area, but there was no reaction from referee Tony Chapron. Blanc brought Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Javier Pastore on with 30 minutes to play, but they were not able to force a breakthrough. Montpellier had a chance of their own in the latter stages; Daniel Congre failed to direct his header towards goal from a corner.

Angers 0-0 Saint-Étienne

Both Angers and Saint-Étienne failed to capitalise on the sides above them dropping points, as they were held to a draw at the Stade Jean Bouin. Les Verts had the best chances of the first half; Kevin Theophile-Catherine accidentally denied his teammate Neal Maupay before Romain Saiss had a header cleared off the line.

Maupay didn’t have his shooting boots on as he steered a volley wide midway through the second half. The best of Angers’ chances to take the lead was from a free-kick; Stephane Ruffier did well to deny Billy Ketkeophomphone as his attempt from range took a deflection. Angers’ failure to win for the sixth game in a row means they remain 9th, with Saint-Étienne just three points ahead in 7th.

Bastia 0-0 Lorient

Another of Ligue 1’s games ended goalless as Bastia couldn’t find a way past Lorient, largely due to some poor finishing from the home side. The draw meant Lorient still had the edge over Bastia on goal difference, as the sides are 10th and 11th respectively. It was a fairly controlled first half from Bastia and Benjamin Lecomte’s foot denied Floyd Ayite from giving the hosts the lead.

Les Merlus’ shot-stopper made another key save to keep out Gael Danic, shortly after Brandao failed to score from just a few yards out. Lorient continued to ride the storm and when Lecomte was finally beaten, the post came to their rescue to prevent Danic from breaking the deadlock.

Bordeaux 1-1 Gazélec Ajaccio

In a game that could have decided the fate of both teams, it finished with the scores level as Gazélec scored a very late goal to deny Bordeaux the three points. Les Girondins’ goal came from a spot-kick when Alassane Toure tackled Cheikh Diabate in the box to give the referee no option but to award the penalty; a chance Diabate didn’t waste.

It should have been 2-0 to the hosts after half-time but the usually reliable Diego Rolan fired the ball over the crossbar with only the goalkeeper to beat. This mistake proved costly as the visitors fought back to secure a point. In fortuitous fashion, Mohamed Larbi directed a shot towards goal, only for a deflection to beat Paul Bernardoni in the Bordeaux goalmouth. A draw was a positive result for Bordeaux as they are less likely to be caught in 12th place, despite Gazélec having a game in hand in 18th.

Embed from Getty Images

Lille 2-0 Reims

A loss for Lille would have seen them fall right into the relegation mix, but a fairly comfortable victory over Reims may well have got them out of an end-of-season battle. Despite large spells of pressure, it took Les Dogues an hour to break down the Reims back line to make the breakthrough and it came from a free-kick. Rony Lopes tucked away an exquisite shot from 20-yards to beat Johann Carrasso.

Reims’ hopes of a fightback were dashed when Antoine Devaux was dismissed in the latter stages of the match, before Lille secured the victory through Eder with a close range shot. While Lille may be positive about their survival in Ligue 1, Reims have a lot to think about heading into next week’s fixtures. The gap between the hosts and the bottom three may look healthier, but if Gazélec win their extra match it may look different for Lille. Reims remain 16th and still very much in danger.

Nice 2-1 Troyes

In need of a win to avoid dropping out of the top six, Nice took on Troyes and got the three points, only by the narrowest of margins. They sit 4th and it was a good job they won after a few of the sides below them picked up points. Troyes on the other hand are 18 points from safety, so it looks like there is no way back for the bottom side. It didn’t take long at all for Les Aiglons to open the scoring; Valerie Germain was expertly picked out by Mahamane Traore, before striking a volley home to make it 1-0.

Troyes are showing signs of fight in an attempt to save their pride and cause a few upsets in the run to the end of the season, and they got an equaliser thanks to Yoan Cardinale in the Nice goal. Corentin Jean’s shot from a tight angle looked a comfortable one to deal with but Les Aiglons’ keeper let the ball squeeze past his near post. Despite the setback, Nice showed the strength of character to take the lead once again. Germain turned provider for the winner, glancing a header through for Traore who needed no second invitation to score with a crisp volley.

Marseille 1-1 Toulouse

One of the more surprising results of the weekend came at Marseille, were Les Olympiens dropped points against relegation contenders Toulouse. It looked like Toulouse were on course for a much needed win, but an own goal meant they had to settle for a point. Alban Lafont was the hero for Les Pitchouns; he earned a result for his side as he made numerous important saves to deny the likes of Michy Batshuayi and Remy Cabella.

The visitors actually took the lead shortly after half-time. Toulouse’s star man Wissam Ben Yedder weaved through the Marseille back line before placing a shot into the bottom corner. The Marseille leveler was extremely unfortunate for the away side, as they are not getting the luck in games while they are in the bottom three. Steven Fletcher will take some of the credit for the goal, as his shot deflected off Somalia to earn a share of the spoils. A disappointing outcome means Marseille have now just won two of their last ten games, and what seemed a push for Europe is now a slight struggle to escape the relegation zone as they fall to 13th. It was a good point for Les Pitchouns, but they need to start winning if they are going to close the nine-point gap between them and safety.

Rennes 4-1 Nantes

Nantes’ impressive unbeaten run ended emphatically as they suffered a heavy defeat at Roazhon Park, losing 4-1 to a growing Rennes side. Promising youngster, Ousmane Dembele kept up his great run of form as the 18-year-old scored his first Ligue 1 brace to guide his team to a win. Both of his goals came in the first half, at the beginning and the end, to contribute to a strong half-time lead for Rennes.

Kamil Grosicki beat the offside trap and scored past Remy Riou, before Cheikh M’Bengue added another for Rennes with a slight touch on Dembele’s free-kick. Adryan scored Nantes’ only goal of the game to give Les Canaris a bit of optimism, but it was always going to be a difficult task to get a result, even when the hosts were reduced to ten men after Giovanni Sio’s dismissal. Rennes moved up to 5th as a result of this game, while Nantes’ first defeat in months leaves them 8th.

Lyon 5-1 Guingamp

Lyon were also able to win comfortably at home, thrashing a struggling Guingamp side to keep up the hunt of 2nd place and knock the visitors’ confidence as they continue to fight for their top flight status. It took Les Gones just three minutes to take the lead; Maxwell Cornet set up Alexandre Lacazette who could only strike the woodwork, but Rachid Ghezzal was there to tap in the rebound. Guingamp offered a speedy response however, Mevlut Erding was picked out by Younousse Sankhare before beating Antony Lopes to stun Lyon.

Lacazette then eventually got on the score sheet with a composed finish before Cornet added a third with a bit of luck as his effort hit both posts before getting over the line. As Lyon continued to press, Guingamp began to buckle and Lacazette added another with a tap-in from a Ghezzal free-kick. To sum the day up for the visitors, Reynald Lemaitre inadvertently headed the ball into his own net to add to Guingamp’s woes. They finished the game quite well, but had very little to show for it as Lyon made very light work of their latest opponent.  

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.

Check Also

UEFA Euro 2016: The Favourites and the Dark Horses

  The much awaited UEFA European Championship 2016 kicks off tonight as hosts France take ...