Ligue 1 Round-Up: Lyon’s form falters again and PSG rout Strasbourg

Ligue 1

Lyon are rapidly falling away from automatic Champions League contention, after being held to a 2-2 stalemate with struggling Lille. Both Monaco and Marseille picked up victories this weekend, to put more pressure on Bruno Genesio heading into the back end of the season.

Elsewhere in Ligue 1, Paris Saint-Germain comfortably ripped apart Strasbourg at the Parc des Princes, with Neymar making a mockery of the visitors countless times.

For all of the action in France’s top flight this weekend, read below:

Friday:

Monaco 4-0 Dijon

Monaco’s grip on an automatic Champions League qualifying spot tightened, after a comprehensive home win over Dijon.

Keita opened the scoring after 13 minutes, after receiving the ball from Djibril Sidibe and lashing past Baptiste Reynet.

Despite a resurgence from the visitors heading into half-time, it was Monaco who found the back of the net again.

They were forced to be patient, until the 69th minute when Thomas Lemar was felled inside the penalty area and Fabinho converted the resulting penalty.

And as full time approached, Rony Lopes and Kamil Glik added gloss to the scoreline and moved Monaco seven points clear of fourth-place Lyon.

Saturday:

Troyes 1-0 Metz

Troyes remained one point clear of the drop zone, after a late winner from Adama Niane.

Bottom-place Metz looked to open the scoring early on, but saw efforts from Emmanuel Riviere and Nolan Roux well repelled by home goalkeeper Erwin Zelazny.

Despite the spirited start, Metz were soon under pressure for the majority of proceedings. The rock-bottom side held on until the 89th minute, when Niane finished into the bottom left corner past Eiji Kawashima.

Montpellier 1-1 Guingamp

Montpellier’s run of consecutive wins was brought to an end by mid-table Guingamp, in a tightly fought affair.

The visitors were handed the chance to break the deadlock on the half-hour mark. Montpellier’s captain Hilton brought down Marcus Thurman inside the box, and Yeni N’Gbakoto stroked home the spot kick.

Giovanni Sio then squandered a headed chance seconds before half time, to ensure Guingamp entered the break in front.

But Montpellier dominated the second period, and Sio did eventually atone for his miss by finding the leveller. The striker picked up the ball from Ruben Aguilar and buried past Karl-Johan Johnsson.

Caen 2-2 Rennes

Rennes moved into seventh place after picking up an away point at Caen.

The game started off brightly, and led to two early goals being scored. Enzo Crivelli handed the home side the lead after six minutes, after he tapped home from close range.

But Rennes were soon level three minutes later. Ramy Bensebaini delivered into the penalty area and Diafra Sakho headed past Remy Vercoutre to equalise.

The ex-West Ham striker then notched up his second of the game, after 21 minutes. Ismaila Sarr nodded into Sakho’s path, and he made no mistake in finding the bottom right corner.

Ronny Rodelin and Stef Peeters were then denied by Vercoutre in the second half, as Caen pushed for a leveller.

And the home side did eventually find it late on, when Julien Feret crossed into the penalty area and Damien Da Silva headed in for 2-2.

Angers 0-1 St Etienne

St Etienne’s winning streak continued, after a narrow 1-0 victory at Angers condemned the relegation strugglers to another matchweek in the drop zone.

Angers started the brighter, as Karl Toko Ekambi saw an early effort saved before Prince Oniangue headed over the target.

But St Etienne gradually fought their way into the contest, and went close to beating Ludovic Butelle after half-hour through Nevan Subotic and Remy Cabella.

Just when it appeared neither side would be able to break the deadlock, the visitors took the lead after 79 minutes.

A ball lofted into the penalty area from a free-kick looked to have been collected by Butelle, but the shot stopper fumbled and Robert Beric was on hand to tap home through a crowd of bodies.

Amiens 0-0 Toulouse

Both Amiens and Toulouse failed to pick up three crucial points in Saturday’s relegation scrap, leaving both sides forced to share the spoils.

The visitors missed two good chances early on through Yaya Sanogo and Max Gradel, before Amiens’ Prince miscued his header in a rare chance for the home side.

The second half followed the same vein as before the interval, with the only notable moment seeing Guessouma Fofana shown a straight red card in the 76th minute.

The result sees Amiens remain in 18th place, but just one point below Toulouse and with a superior goal difference.

PSG 5-2 Strasbourg

Runaway leaders Paris Saint-Germain brushed aside Strasbourg at the Parc des Princes.

The visitors took a surprise lead through Jean Eudes Aholou after only six minutes, but last season’s runners up were quickly level through Julien Draxler.

The pressure from the home side ramped up, and PSG were soon two goals to the good after 22 minutes. First Neymar handed Unai Emery’s side the lead with an adept finish from close range, before Angel di Maria fired the Parisians further in front.

PSG started the second half like they had ended the first – in total dominance. But it was Strasbourg who clawed themselves back into the game against the run of play, when Stephane Bahoken fired past Alphonse Areola.

Edinson Cavani’s brace ended any hopes of an unlikely Strasbourg resurgence, and ensured PSG’s grip on the Ligue 1 trophy continues to get stronger.

Sunday:

Marseille 1-0 Bordeaux

Marseille inflicted Gus Poyet’s first loss as Bordeaux manager, in a tight 1-0 home victory.

Jordan Amavi and Valere Germain both saw early efforts saved by Benoit Costil, as Marseille looked to open the scoring.

The home side’s dominance continued, when Andre-Frank Anguissa’s header following Dimitri Payet’s pinpoint cross was well palmed away by Bordeaux’s shot stopper, before Germain saw a follow-up well blocked.

However, it was another of Payet’s deliveries that led to the opener, when Florian Thauvin continued his good form and headed his side into the lead from close range.

Despite the constant threat possessed by Bordeaux’s Gaetan Laborde, Poyet’s side were unable to find the leveller in a scrappy second half.

Lille 2-2 Lyon

Lyon dropped important points once again in the race for a Champions League place, after gifting away a two goal lead to draw at Lille.

The visitors started the brighter, and opened the scoring through Bertrand Traore who fired home from six yards out.

Luiz Araujo saw a venomous effort denied by Anthony Lopes as Lille came close. But Lyon found their second goal minutes later.

Marcal teed up Traore, who blasted home his second into the top right corner to ensure Lyon entered the break two goals to the good.

But Lille demonstrated the fighting spirit needed to fend off relegation, and halved the deficit after 65 minutes – when Nicolas Pepe slotted into the bottom left corner.

And the home side equalised in the 81st minute. Thiago Mendes spotted Araujo’s run just outside the penalty area, who lashed into the back of the net at Lopes’ near post to ensure a share of the spoils.

Nice 1-1 Nantes

Nantes remained in fifth place, after picking up an away point at struggling Nice.

Lucien Favre’s side are in the midst of a downturn in form, but made the breakthrough after only five minutes – when veteran centre-half Dante shot past Ciprian Tatarusanu.

Alassane Plea then struck the woodwork from just outside the penalty area, as Nice came close to doubling their lead.

Instead, Nantes were level after 27 minutes. Patrick Burner felled Andrei Girotto inside the penalty area, and Emiliano Sala converted the resulting spot-kick to level the scores.

Both sides had late chances to steal maximum points, but both Racine Coly and Sala miscued their guilt-edged opportunities.

About the Author

Dan Davis
I'm Dan, a 20-year old multimedia journalism student at Bournemouth University. I'm a freelance football writer, and have had work featured for the likes of These Football Times and Outside the Boot.