Catch Up with All the Action in Ligue 1 During the 4th Round

Ligue 1

Ligue 1 –  4th Matchday

PSG – Saint-Etienne

After winning their first 3 matches against Guingamp, Toulouse, and Amiens, PSG were set to face their first tough matchup in Ligue 1. On the other end of the coin, Oscar Garcia’s Saint Etienne also commenced the season with three wins in three matches. Their defensive block has been the most solid in French football up to now, forming a 5-4-1 low-block that allows them to have defensive solidity while finding spaces to go forward. PSG aligned their usual 4-3-3, with Pastore replacing suspended Italian Marco Verratti. We had seen in previous games that Neymar was given a tactically free-roaming role, but in this match we saw di Maria get the same freedom as well, which was rather interesting. Emery read the game well giving freedom to both since A.S.S.E played very defensive, therefore creating confusion for the green team whenever they had to mark PSG’s offense.

The match started with PSG taking the initiative from the first minute. Their usual trio in attack looked as hungry as ever, with Edinson Cavani performing as a striker next to the Argentine and Brazilian. After 19 minutes of play, the referee awarded PSG a more than controversial penalty, which Cavani himself took to open the score. Aside from the final score, PSG really had trouble breaking down Saint-Etienne’s defensive line. Neymar seemed a bit desperate at times, showing his frustration towards other players and the referee. After a tough first half, Motta scored early in the second to double PSG’s lead, and therefore make it a more tranquil game for the Parisians. Last season’s top goal-scorer would finish the night off with the conclusive 3-0, adding a double to his personal scoring tally. Before the match, 3 teams had a perfect run. Upon PSG’s victory over Saint-Etienne, only Monaco and the Parisians have a perfect 4 wins in 4 matches.

Nantes – Lyon

Ranieri has showed some doubts with his new team when it comes to picking a steady formation. He has tried both a 5-3-2 and a 4-4-2, with both of them having occasional positive and negative outcomes. Lyon, on the other hand, began with their regular 4-2-3-1. Maxwell Cornet replaced Memphis Depay while Jordan Ferri played for suspended Sergi Darder. The match had slow transitions, little efficiency in the final third, and poor crossing attempts. Nabil Fekir was the most positive news for Lyon fans, who have seen the rebirth of the talented creative midfielder. The French midfielder continues to impress after the departure of Tolisso and Lacazette. The match however, ended in an uneventful 0-0 draw, as both team’s ended up splitting a point. Although winless in their previous 2 matches, Lyon put together a great start to the campaign. They are 4th with 8 points after 4 matches, while Nantes are 15th with 4 points.

Bordeaux – Troyes

After a positive start to the campaign, Bordeaux were set off to face recently-promoted Troyes. Bordeaux aligned their popular 4-3-3, with Toulalan playing again at CB and Younousse Sankhare commanding the midfield as always. Speedy youngster’s Francois Kamano & Malcom both had positive outings for the home side as well. The Brazilian, amid all the rumours linking him with BVB to replace Ousmane Dembele, looked extremely confident and fit. Kamano opened the score just 10 minutes in, giving the home side a tranquil start to the match. After a tough first half for Troyes, they managed to get some good chances in the last 5 minutes of the first half and start of the second half. Younousse Sankhare would calm the game with a goal in the 48th minute, assisted by the skillful Brazilian Malcom. Four minutes after, Stephane Darnion managed to give some hope to Troyes with a beautiful goal on Benoit Costil. The away side were not able to complete a comeback, as the match ended 2-1 in favor of Bordeaux. They are 5th with 8 points across 4 games, while Troyes currently find themselves in the middle of the table with 4 points.

Monaco – Marseille

Having recently obtained a historic achievement this past week by winning 15 Ligue 1 games in a row, Monaco were set to host Rudi Garcia’s Marseille. Monaco aligned their usual 4-4-2, which at times looked like a 4-2-3-1 with Diakhaby dropping into more of a CF role than a ST. Jardim’s side were able to continue their phenomenal form by completing their best game of the season. Marcos Lopes had a stupendous match down the right, while Diakhaby had a confident game replacing Mbappe, who is likely to leave to PSG the next week.  Falcao continued his insane form, as the Colombian is near the ‘2 goals per game’ mark in his first 4 games, tallying an impressive 7 goals. Rudi Garcia, on the other hand, placed Jordan Amavi as a LM rather than as a LB; an experiment that didn’t work out at all. As always, Florian Thauvin was the best performer for Marseille, while the rest of the squad had a significantly poor match. Kamil Glik opened the score off a cross from Lemar with less than 120 seconds of action. It’s impressive to see last years goal contribution by their defense increase, as it was one of their main weapons last year. This year Jemerson, Glik, and Sidibe have all scored, and enjoyed numerous other chances they couldn’t convert. Man of the moment Radamel Falcao doubled the score just 20 minutes in, right before tripling the score in the 34th minute. Kylian’s replacement Adama Diakhaby scored the fourth goal right before the break. While Djibril Sidibe scored Monaco’s fifth. Remy Cabella scored an unsignificant goal for the away side, while Fabinho finally destroyed Marseille fan’s patience with the conclusive 6-1. After this impressive outing, Monaco and PSG are the only clubs to start with 4 wins across 4 matches.

Other Matches:

Caen 1-0 Metz

Dijon 2-1 Montpellier

Amiens 3-0 Nice

Toulouse 3-2 Rennes

Guingamp 2-0 Strasbourg

Angers 1-1 Lille

Top Goal-Scorers:

  1. Falcao -7
  2. Cavani -5
  3. Durmaz, Fekir, and 7 others… -3