Ligue 1 Week 34 roundup
AS Nancy Lorraine 0-0 Olympique De Marseilles
In this week’s early fixture Marseilles passed up an opportunity to beat cellar dwellers Nancy and put some early pressure on Lyon for automatic qualification to the Europa League. Nancy on the other hand will probably take a point from a tough Marseilles side given how tight the race is at the bottom of the table.
Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 Montpellier Herault SC
PSG have used their extra game to advantage this weekend to go clear of Monaco at the top of the table, albeit having now played 2 games more, to force Monaco to get a result away in Lyon. The match was never expected to be a particularly close affair, and no one left the stadium in any real surprise with the result.
After a slow start PSG finally went ahead after a Blaise Matuidi cross set up in form striker Edinson Cavani to slot home from close range. PSG then made sure of the points not long after the break when a Cavani back heel played in Di Maria who finished with a wonderful curling shot to keep the title race very much alive.
Girondins de Bordeaux 2-0 SC Bastia
Bordeaux used their extra games played to leap above Lyon in the table and put themselves in automatic Europa League qualifying position, perhaps momentarily. After a ponderous first half the game finally came alive not long into the second period when a lovely Sankhare cross found Malcom in the box who put the hosts 1-0 up with a fantastic volleyed finish. Sankhare then went from provider to scorer with a headed effort to finish a free kick.
Any chance for Bastia to salvage something from the game was then dashed when their long chronicled disciplinary problems once again came to the fore. El Kaoutari who was booked in the 68th minute for the free kick which lead to the goal, received his marching orders with a second booking in the 75th minute for a stamp on the foot of Sankhare. The result puts Bordeaux in a strong position for Europa League qualification, but leaves Bastia worryingly 5 points from safety with relegation looming.
SM Caen 0-2 FC Nantes
Nantes continued their impressive run of form under manager Sergio Conceição and kept Caen firmly in the relegation discussion. Yacine Bammou helped the visitors get off to a good start with an angled finish in the 27th minute. He then finished his brace and consigned the Norman club to defeat with his second in the 35th minute.
Dijon FCO 3-2 Angers SCO
Dijon came into this match looking to make some progress in the relegation fight, whilst Angers had very little to play for with survival confirmed weeks ago. Then it may not have come as a surprise to some when Dijon made the best start to the game when a brilliant outstretched foot from Löis Diony managed to divert the ball past the keeper and into the Angers net. Diony then turned provider as his cross was turned home by a powerful Pierre Lees-Melou header, putting Angers onto the backfoot. If things looked grim for Angers then they turned positively dire two minutes before the break as a well-weighted through ball allowed Diony to slot the ball past Letellier to secure his brace and put the home side 3 nil up at half time.
Whatever Moulin said to his side at half time seemed to spur them into action. A through ball into the box allowed Diedhou to get onto it before being dragged down, with Thomas Mangani converting the penalty. Dijon fans were excused for starting to get a little worried only a minute later when Karl Toko Ekambi pulled another one back for the visitors. The comeback was however, short lived and Dijon left the stadium with three vital points.
Lille OSC 3-0 EA Guingamp
Lille, at home, were looking for a win to add a few points to what can only be described as a disappointing season and attempt to scrape a top half finish. Nicolas De Preville seemed to want to help out in this task as he put the hosts ahead 9 minutes in with a strike from outside the box. The hosts then doubled their lead as De Preville doubled his haul with a calmly taken penalty after the referee deemed Eder to have been fouled in the box. Eder then made sure of the points for the hosts in the 66th minute with a goal line tap in to send the home fans away happy.
FC Lorient 5-1 FC Metz
The stakes were high going into this Sunday afternoon relegation battle, with Lorient in the bottom three and Metz looking over their shoulder. It was Lorient who started the brightest though with Michael Ciani putting the Breton side up 1-0 in the 13th minute. Ciani was not to be the hero for long though as he was penalised for holding back Diabaté who made no mistake from the spot, sending the sides to half time level. Majeed Waris put the hosts back in front four minutes into the second half when he turned in Jimmy Cabot’s free kick, putting Lorient back in the driving seat. Jimmy Cabot then seized upon defensive mistakes twice in six minutes to put the game beyond reach of Metz and pull Lorient out of the relegation zone. With Lorient cruising, Benjamin Moukandjo then put some polish on the result after putting a through ball into Didillon’s net.
Toulouse FC 1-1 OGC Nice
OGC Nice were looking to keep their faint voice heard in the title conversation with a win over mid-table Toulouse. After a first half with several chances both sides went into the break level, thanks primarily to some acrobatic keeping from Toulouse teenager Alban Lafont. Despite the South Coast side’s title aspirations it was Toulouse who made the breakthrough after ex-Troyes winger Corentin Jean firing into the Nice net. Their lead was not to be a long one however, as Valentin Eysseric pounced on a loose ball after a corner to pull Nice level. Despite several late chances the game finished even, a result which, divine intervention aside, extinguished Nice’s faint title belief.
AS Saint-Etienne 1–1 Stade Rennais FC
Saint-Etienne have not yet given up on their hopes to qualify for the Europa League this season and went into this game looking to push those European credentials despite their recent poor form. It was the home side that made the breakthrough when Beric turned in a Hamouma cross in the 39th minute to put Les Verts in front. The lead was brief however when five minutes later Edson Mexer headed home a well weighted Yoann Gourcuff corner to equalise for the Breton side. The second half was largely uneventful and both sides will finish the weekend ruing missed opportunities to take full points.
Olympique Lyonnais 1-2 AS Monaco
Monaco came into this game 3 points behind PSG after the capital side’s earlier match, but with two games in hand. Lyon on the other hand wanted three points to reaffirm their position as favourites to tie down the league’s only automatic qualification spot for the Europa League. After early pressure from the visitors Monaco finally found the breakthrough when Glik headed a Thomas Lemar corner across goal, only for Falcao to finish the job and put the principality side 1-0 up. Mbappe put the visitors in a commanding position when he skillfully put an angled shot past both Diakhaby, as well as Anthony Lopes into the latter’s net. After a lively start to the second half Lyon youngster Lucas Tousart gave Lyon some hope in the 51st minute when his powerful header turned a Depay corner into his first Ligue 1 goal. Monaco managed to see the game out though and despite several chances at either end it finished with a Monaco win to move them back to the summit of the table.