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Ligue 1 Review Gameweek 30

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PSG’s confirmation of the Ligue 1 title arrived as they thrashed Troyes, but there is still a lot to play for in the top flight of French football.

Monaco 2-2 Reims

Monaco’s draw against Reims gave PSG a chance to win the league title, as Leonardo Jardim’s side dropped points for the third successive game. Not only did their unlikely pursuit of the title end with the result, but the teams below them continued the chase and closed the gap on Monaco in 2nd. The point was a good one for Reims however, as it kept them out of the relegation zone in 17th on goal difference. Despite an ambitious start from the visitors, they fell behind as Monaco’s Vagner Love scored with a strike from range after five minutes.

The lead didn’t last long though, as Reims fought back six minutes later through Gaetan Charbonnier. The midfielder was then at fault as Monaco took the lead once again; Charbonnier’s poor backpass let Love in on goal and he capitalised to score his and Monaco’s second. Reims are going to have to show character in their relegation battle and they did so in the latter stages of this match. Diego managed to get the leveler with a header from Lass Bangoura’s delivery as Reims earned a well-fought result.

Lorient 1-1 Marseille

Neither side could close the gap on the top six as the meeting between Lorient and Marseille ended in a draw. This means only goal difference separates the two, with 10th place Marseille having the edge over Lorient in 11th. Les Merlus were first to break the deadlock; Majeed Waris beat the offside trap as he was played in by Walid Mesloub, before beating Steve Mandanda with a composed finish.

Michel’s half-time team talk worked however, as Les Olympiens equalised within a minute of the restart. Michy Batshuayi’s effort was blocked but Mauricio Isla was on hand to net the rebound. Marseille’s Mandanda was responsible for keeping the scores level late on as he produced an excellent save to deny Raphael Guerreiro. This was a missed opportunity for both sides as the sides above them dropped points at the weekend.

Bastia 1-2 Lille

The nature of Ligue 1 means back-to-back Lille wins has seen them go from a relegation battle to a push for a European spot. They followed up their victory over Reims with the three points at Bastia, whose top flight status is now threatened. Les Dogues are improving fast and at a crucial part of the season. They took the lead in the 37th-minute as Sofiane Boufal took advantage of an error before firing a fierce shot into the top corner. The lead was doubled midway through the second period; Adama Soumaoro knocked down a free-kick and Ibrahim Amadou was there to turn the ball home.

Bastia did manage to pull a goal back but they left it too late to make the comeback. Gael Danic scored a consolation goal in stoppage time but there was very little time left to put Lille under pressure. Lille have climbed to 9th as a result of this game, just four points short of the European places. Bastia on the other hand, sit 13th with a six-point gap between them and the relegation zone; they may still be in for a nervy finish to the campaign.

Gazélec Ajaccio 1-0 Caen

One of the sides putting pressure on Bastia is Gazélec, who pulled off one of the surprise results of the weekend. The hosts were 18th at the start of the weekend and that’s where they remain, although after going four games unbeaten they have closed the gap on the sides above them. Only goal difference separates Gazélec from safety, but after beating 7th place Caen they will have a lot of confidence heading into the final few games.

The visitors had the best chance of the first half but Andy Delort was matched by Ronny Rodelin in the Gazélec goalmouth. The home side began to control the game and went close through Khalid Boutaib, who took his second chance when it arrived. David Ducourtioux’s cross found Boutaib at the back post and he directed a looping header past Remy Vercoutre. This was the only goal of the game, but it was a decisive one as it handed Gazélec a huge three points.

Guingamp 2-0 Saint-Étienne

A similar situation occurred at the Stade du Roudourou, where strugglers Guingamp defeated Saint-Étienne on Saturday. It was yet another setback to Les Verts’ push for a European spot, whereas Guingamp needed the win to avoid remaining in the bottom three. The intent of the hosts was there from the offset and they took the lead after seven minutes through a strong Jimmy Briand header, steering the ball home from Lard Jacobsen’s cross.

Guingamp’s lead was extended midway through the first half as they continued to cause problems for the Saint-Étienne defence. Jonathan Martins Pereira managed to time his run well before picking out Sloan Privat to make it 2-0. Les Verts failed to create any clear cut chances and it was the hosts who were closest to adding more goals; a Thomas Giresse volley nearly added a third but the ball flashed wide to save what was left of Saint-Étienne’s blushes. The win gave Guingamp a two-point margin between them in 16th and the bottom three, but Saint-Étienne drop to 8th as they failed to win for the fifth consecutive game.

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Montpellier 0-2 Nice

It was a nightmare weekend for Montpellier as four out of the five sides below them picked up points; three of them winning. La Paillade’s five-match unbeaten run came to an end as they suffered a 2-0 defeat at home to Nice. The home side failed to take their chances in the opening 45 minutes as they entered the break wondering how neither Souleymane Camara nor Mustapha Yatabare had broken the deadlock. Montpellier would rue those mistakes in the second half as Les Aiglons took the lead, as Valerie Germain finished a swift counter-attack with a goal.

The Nice victory was secured with less than 15 minutes to go; Hatem Ben Arfa proved too difficult for another defence to handle as he created the space and found Alassane Plea to make it two. Consecutive wins looks to have got Nice back on track as they sit 3rd, but cut Monaco’s advantage in 2nd to just five points. The results elsewhere didn’t affect Montpellier’s league position of 15th, but meant they are now just three points from the bottom three.

Toulouse 4-0 Bordeaux

Bordeaux’s season has been disappointing by their usual standards, but very few people expected what was to come at the Stadium Municipal as they were crushed by relegation-threatened Toulouse. Les Pitchouns are just seven points from safety in 19th so survival is far from impossible, whereas Bordeaux are 14th but only five points above the drop zone. It took just five minutes for the hosts to take the lead and it was the ever reliable Wissam Ben Yedder who showed great pace and composure to finish. The Tunisian was given the chance to score a second from the spot; Ludovic Sane was sent off for Les Girondins and Ben Yedder converted the resulting penalty.

Another penalty was awarded to Toulouse in the 86th-minute; this time Martin Braithwaite stepped up to score the third. Les Pitchouns then compiled Bordeaux’s misery with a fourth. Oscar Trejo completed the rout in stoppage time to make it a very good night for the hosts, giving them hope of survival and giving Bordeaux a lot to think about.

Troyes 0-9 Paris Saint-Germain

It was already a disappointing season for newly-promoted Troyes, but the embarrassing 9-0 home defeat to PSG is the final nail on the coffin. Any win would have been enough for Les Parisians to lift the title but they chose to do it in style at the Stade de l’Aube. The hosts attempted to attack in the opening few minutes and it left them extremely open at the back. PSG took full advantage and scored three goals in the opening 19 minutes. Edinson Cavani’s persistence, Javier Pastore’s technique and Adrien Rabiot’s predatory nature gave PSG an unassailable lead.

A nine-minute hat-trick from Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the second half put the game well beyond Troyes, as the Swedish international continued his excellent form. Les Parisians didn’t need any help but they were handed it by Troyes, Matthieu Saunier scored an own goal to make it 7-0 before Lossemy Karaboue was dismissed after he gave away a penalty, which Cavani missed but scored the rebound. Just to add salt to the wounds, Ibrahimovic scored his fourth and PSG’s ninth just before the 90-minute mark, to cap another great day for Les Parisians. A 25-point lead with only eight games remaining is confirmation of the title for PSG, whereas Troyes’ fate is soon to be decided as they remain bottom, 19 points from safety.

Nantes 2-0 Angers

Nantes made up for their midweek mistake and moved into the top six with a comfortable win over Angers. Les Canaris made another step towards attaining a place in European football as they climbed to 6th. Angers however, have gone off the boil and fell to 12th after failing to win for the seventh straight game.

The game was goalless at half-time but the hosts re-emerged stronger after the break and eventually took the lead. Adrien Thomasson had a huge involvement; stealing possession before finding Emiliano Sala who finished to make it 1-0. As Les Canaris continued to assert their dominance, Sala added a second to his name midway through the half. He took Birama Toure’s pass down well before striking a crisp volley past Alexandre Letellier. While Nantes are flying high, Angers are now only six points above the bottom three and given their position a couple of months ago, it would be catastrophic if they went down.

Rennes 2-2 Lyon

An excellent fight back from Rennes saw them come from two goals down to salvage a point against Champions League contenders Lyon. Both sides are pushing for a European spot and this was a great chance to take some points off each other, in addition to chasing Monaco who dropped points once again. Rachid Ghezzal was on target for Les Gones once again as he scored the opener in the 33rd-minute after being set up by Maxwell Cornet. A second Lyon goal looked to have sent them well on their way to victory as Alexandre Lacazette scored a header on the other side of the interval.

Rennes started to put the pressure on Lyon and they were rewarded midway through the second half. Fallou Diagne was able to steer the ball home form an Ousmane Dembele corner to set up a tense finish. Lacazette didn’t have his shooting boots on, missing opportunities he would usually bury and this would come back to haunt the visitors. Dembele saw a shot saved by Anthony Lopes but Jeremie Boga turned in the rebound with just eight minutes to play as Rennes earned a point. The result leaves Lyon in 4th after Nice won, with Rennes just a point behind in 5th as they continue to pursue a place in the top six.

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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