Ligue 1 Round-Up: Monaco edge past Lyon in European qualification thriller

Ligue 1

Monaco moved ahead of Lyon in the race for automatic Champions League qualification, after Leonardo Jardim’s side scored late on to steal all three points in a 3-2 victory.

Elsewhere in France, runaway leaders Paris Saint-Germain continued their relentless march towards the Ligue 1 title after a 3-0 win at Lille, with talented Argentine Giovani Le Celso scoring a wonderful lofted finish. Amiens slipped close to relegation danger after losing to fellow strugglers Saint-Etienne, and Toulouse picked up back-to-back victories after downing Nice 1-0.

For all the action in Ligue 1 this weekend, read below:

Friday:

Marseille 6-3 Metz

Marseille smashed six past relegation fodder Metz, despite a spirited late comeback from the visitors.

Morgan Sanson buried the ball home after only six minutes to open the scoring, before Florian Thauvin quickly added a second minutes later.

Despite the away side creating presentable opportunities, Marseille punished them by scoring their third on the stroke of half time when Thauvin notched his second of the game.

And Marseille began the second half like they ended the third, when Thauvin turned from goalscorer to provider in teeing up Valere Germain for 4-0.

Florent Mollet drilled home the first consolation for Metz, before ex-Fulham striker Kostas Mitroglou scored Marseille’s sixth just two minutes later.

Two more consolation goals through Mollet again and Ibrahima Niane ensured a battling end to the fixture for Metz, who still sit rooted to the bottom of the table. Marseille meanwhile sit in second place, over Monaco and Lyon in the race for an automatic European place.

Saturday:

Strasbourg 0-2 Bordeaux

Gus Poyet’s impressive start to live in charge of Bordeaux continued after 2-0 away victory at Strasbourg.

The visitors opened the scoring after only three minutes, after calamitous defending from the relegation strugglers. Nicolas de Preville robbed possession in the final third, but saw his shot smothered by Bingorou Kamara. However, as Jeremy Grimm looked to hack away, his clearance struck Younousse Sankhare and looped into the back of the net.

The second goal came in the 53rd minute, when de Preville picked out Gaetan Laborde on the right side of the penalty area. The young forward took a touch and drilled an effort across Kamara and into the far corner.

The result means that Bordeaux move into the top half of the table, seven points clear of the drop zone. Strasbourg, meanwhile, have only won once in their last six and sit two points away from the bottom three.

Nice 0-1 Toulouse

Toulouse recorded an impressive victory at Nice, to escape the relegation zone by one point.

On-loan Max Gradel wrapped up a crucial three points in the 67th minute. Ibrahim Sangare received possession 30 yards out, and sprayed play across to Gradel, who cut inside just outside the penalty area and bent an effort past Walter Benitez.

Nice have now lost their last two games and move down into seventh place, with the top half of the table becoming more competitive with every passing matchday. Toulouse now sit in 15th, after consecutive victories eased relegation fears, at least for another week.

Montpellier 2-1 Angers

Montpellier recovered from a first-half Karl Toko Ekambi spot kick to come back against relegation threatened Angers and move into sixth place.

The visitors were awarded a penalty after 19 minutes, when goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte was adjudged to have brought down Ekambi when the forward hurtled into the box. Ekambi waited for Montpellier’s shot stopper to commit to a direction, and calmly rolled the ball into the bottom right corner.

But Montpellier was level three minutes before half time, through a stroke of fortune. The home side worked the ball out to Paul Lasne, whose long range shot took a wicked deflection off Prince Oniangue before wrong-footing Ludovic Butelle.

Isaac Mbenza wrapped up maximum points for Montpellier in the second half, after a flowing move around the edge of the penalty area ended with the forward curling an effort inside Butelle’s near post.

Amiens 0-2 Saint-Etienne

Mathieu Debuchy scored on his debut, as Saint-Etienne picked up their second win in as many weeks to ease relegation fears.

The visitors opened the scoring on the hour mark, through the former Arsenal full-back. Remy Cabella laid off to Jonathan Bamba whose shot was palmed out by Regis Gurtner as far as Debuchy, who was on hand to smash home and break the deadlock.

And five minutes before half time, Saint Etienne secured all three points. Vincent Pajot took down a chipped delivery over the Amiens back-line, and squared across the penalty area for Cabella to tap home.

Saint Etienne are now four points clear of the drop zone, with Amiens only out of the bottom three on goal difference.

Lille 0-3 Paris Saint-Germain

Paris Saint-Germain took one step closer to Ligue 1 glory after a comprehensive away victory at Lille, who dropped back into the relegation zone.

But Unai Emery’s side had to wait until the 45th minute to finally open the scoring. Yuri Berchiche’s clever run in behind the Lille defence was picked out, and the full-back latched onto a flicked header from Cavani to bury past Mike Maignan.

And in the 77th minute, a moment of magic from Neymar increased PSG’s lead. The Brazilian bent a superb free-kick over the Lille wall and past Maignan at his near post, to move last season’s runners-up closer to another three points.

The win was confirmed ten minutes later, when Giovani Le Celso picked up possession from new signing Lassana Diarra and lofted a delicate finish into the far corner.

Sunday:

Rennes 0-1 Guingamp

Guingamp moved into the top half of the league table after a late stoppage time winner.

After 90 minutes of missed opportunities from both sides, Rennes earned a corner in the 92nd minute which was hacked clear by the visitors. Ludovic Blas spotted Yeni N’Gbakoto making a run behind the home side’s defence and lofted a delightful ball over to his teammate.

The Guingamp attacker spotted Tomas Koubek narrowly off his line, and bent an effort over the goalkeeper and into the far corner, to secure the victory right at the death.

Caen 3-2 Nantes

Nantes’ recent inconsistent form continued after Caen scored ten minutes before time to defeat Claudio Ranieri’s side.

But the visitors took the lead after 31 minutes, through Yacine Bammou. Emiliano Sala picked up possession in the final third, and played through Bammou who tucked home past Remy Vercoutre from a tight angle.

Four minutes later, and Caen were level. Ivan Santini slammed home a spot-kick into the top left corner, after Enzo Crivelli was felled inside the penalty area.

And early into the second half, the home side edged in front when Stef Peeters’ in-swinging corner was bundled home from close range by Damien Da Silva.

But Ranieri’s men equalised soon after through Bammou again, after the striker was played through by Adrien Thomasson.

There would be a final twist in the tale though, when Caen stole all three points ten minutes from time. A corner was flicked on by at the near post by Ronny Rodelin, and Da Silva was on hand to stoop and head home for the winner.

Monaco 3-2 Lyon

Lyon let a two goal lead slip at Monaco, as Leonardo Jardim’s side came back to pick up a crucial win in the battle for Champions League football.

The visitors opened the scoring after 11 minutes, when Mariano’s long-range strike surprisingly beat Danjiel Subasic at his near post, forcing the goalkeeper to soon be withdrawn with injury.

And Lyon soon capitalised on the change, when Bertrand Traore got in front of his marker and substitute goalkeeper Seydou Sy to stab home Ferland Mendy’s cross.

However, just three minutes later Monaco clawed themselves back into the game. Almamy Traore laid off to Keita, who skipped infield and lashed in a low drive off the post to halve the deficit.

And moments later, the home side were awarded a penalty after Mendy was penalised for dragging down Kamil Glik from a set-piece. Radamel Falcao’s spot kick was parried out by Anthony Lopes, but the Colombian was quick to react in tucking home the rebound to equalise.

Monaco was soon reduced to ten men, after Keita was shown a second yellow card for a rash tackle on Mendy.

Two minutes before half time, Jardim’s side scored the winner. Rony Lopes picked up a pass from Stevan Jovetic and drilled into the bottom right corner across Anthony Lopes to spark scenes of jubilation among the Monaco substitutes and coaching staff.

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.