We have new league-leaders in Ligue 1 as Montpellier move to the summit on goal difference from capital-city club Paris Saint-Germain.
The league itself looks to be taking shape though the title race is still no closer to conclusion.
Ajaccio’s point-scoring run continued as they drew 1-1 with Lorient. It was Lorient who opened the scoring through Grégory Bourillon but a second-half strike from former West Ham striker Ilan salvaged a point for the home side.
Nancy continued their rather impressive form with a narrow victory over Brest. A first-half strike from Malian midfielder Bakaye Traoré was the only goal of the game and sees Nancy climb to 12th in the Ligue 1 table.
Eden Hazard was on form once again as Lille won in impressive fashion away to Evian. The Belgian playmaker is aware of the interest in him and has been performing at a high level of late in order to showcase his talent to potential suitors. He opened the scoring from the penalty spot just after the 30-minute mark before slotting a smart through ball for Dimitri Payet to double the advantage in the second half. Midfielder Benoit Pedretti added Lille’s third to complete the thrashing – Lille’s seventh goal in just two league games.
Lyon were 2-1 winners over Sochaux. Defender Dejan Lovren opened the scoring after four minutes before Bafétimbi Gomis added Lyon’s second with a lovely strike on the hour mark. Former Newcastle United target Modibo Maiga pulled one goal back for Sochaux but it was not to be for the club on the night. A post-match interview saw Lyon’s owner Jean-Michel Aulas inviting Sochaux duo Ryad Boudebouz and Marvin Martin to join Lyon in the summer.
Montpellier grabbed themselves a victory over St Etienne to see their title-chasing train get back on track. A late goal from current top-goalscorer Olivier Giroud ensured three points for Montpellier – a much-needed victory given the disappointment of last week’s defeat at the hands of Nancy. Jean-Pascal Mignot was sent off for St Etienne on what was his return from suspension. This was his third red card of the season so far.
The local derby between Nice and Marseille finished 1-1. Marseille were reduced to ten men on the stroke of half-time as Charles Kaboré was given his marching orders. This did not deter the side, who went one up when André Ayew found the back of the net. A penalty converted by specialist Luciano Monzon saw Nice secure a point. Marseille themselves are in dire need of points but the news that Senegalese centre-back Souleymane Diawara could miss the rest of the season with a cruciate ligament injury will not have made another unwelcome result that little bit harder to take.
Saturday’s late kick-off was the match between Valenciennes and Rennes. Few would have expected a Valenciennes victory but they managed it as Gael Danic struck from the penalty spot.
Sunday kicked off in style with Dijon defeating Caen 2-0. 22 year-old striker Koro Koné, a recent signing from Slovakian side Spartak Trnava, was first on the score sheet before midfielder Younousse Sankharé wrapped up all three points with his strike in the second half.
Toulouse continued their trend for the season by winning 1-0 once again, this time against Auxerre. Auxerre, under new management with Jean-Guy Wallemme at the helm, were unable to stop Franck Tabanou from hitting the back of the net to secure the side’s 7th 1-0 victory of the season, half of their total wins.
The final match of the weekend was the confrontation between Paris Saint-Germain and Bordeaux. With PSG looking unimpressive over the course of the match in general, Bordeaux took the lead through Cheick Diabeté. They were not in front for long as Guillaume Hoarau equalised just four minutes later. The draw sees PSG slip to second on goal difference behind unlikely leaders Montpellier.
Ajaccio 1-1 Lorient; Brest 0-1 Nancy; Evian 0-3 Lille; Lyon 2-1 Sochaux; Montpellier 1-0 St Etienne; Nice 1-1 Marseille; Valenciennes 1-0 Rennes; Dijon 2-0 Caen; Toulouse 1-0 Auxerre; PSG 1-1 Bordeaux
Good week: Montpellier – Few would have expected Montpellier to be chasing a league title at the beginning of the season. For them to now be leading the table and looking competitive this late in the competition is great for the club and their fans.
Bad week: Auxerre – New manager but no honeymoon period at the moment as they continue their decline. Things are not looking good for the side and relegation looms as the gap between themselves and safety grows to five points.
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