Ligue 1 Round-Up: PSG shrug off Champions League exit after easing past Metz

Ligue 1

Paris Saint-Germain returned to their emphatic domestic form after brushing Metz aside 5-0, days after another premature exit from the Champions League.

Elsewhere in France, Monaco tightened their grip on second place and Lyon finally returned to winning ways with a narrow win over Caen.

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

Friday:

Strasbourg 1-3 Monaco

Rony Lopes continued his rich vein of scoring form, after netting once again in a 3-1 victory for Monaco at Strasbourg.

Leonardo Jardim’s side have tightened their grip on the Ligue 1 runners up spot, after three first half goals sent the visitors well on their way to three points.

Stevan Jovetic opened the scoring after only five minutes, before Lopes’s strike doubled Monaco’s lead half way through the first period, just moments after Stephane Bahoken’s leveller.

Fabinho’s deflected effort rounded off a superb half for Monaco, who rode out the rest of the game to move within 11 points of leaders Paris Saint-Germain.

Saturday:

Rennes 1-1 St Etienne

Rennes moved to within one point of fifth after being held to a home draw against St Etienne.

Rennes fashioned out the early openings but it was the visitors who took the lead after 35 minutes, Romain Hamouma’s delivery turned in by centre half Neven Subotic.

But the contest was evenly contested, and Rennes thoroughly deserved a share of the spoils. The equaliser arrived four minutes from time, when Benjamin Bourigeaud dug out a cross for Ismaila Sarr to head past Stephane Ruffier.

Nantes 1-0 Troyes

Nantes finally got back to winning ways, after Emiliano Sala’s winner stole all three points late on.

Troyes, who sit in 18th place, albeit just one point from safety, failed to record a single shot on target – but will be disappointed not to leave with a share of the spoils after some superb defensive work.

The eventual breakthrough arrived after 86 minutes, when Sala was on hand to head Leo Dubois’ pinpoint delivery past Erwin Zelazny.

Lille 1-1 Montpellier

Lille were held to a home stalemate against Montpellier, in a fixture marred by a pitch invasion late on in which the home side’s players were supposedly targeted.

The strugglers’ fan base has made it clear multiple times they are unhappy with the regime in place at Lille, who are faced with a real threat of relegation, having only won seven times since the start of the season. The home side are winless in their last five, but still sit just a single point from 17th place.

Lille took the lead four minutes before the break, when Yassine Benzia’s penetrating through ball was coolly slotted away by Nicolas Pepe.

But Lille’s defensive frailties have been on show far too many times this campaign, and Montpellier grabbed the leveller on 63 minutes. Junior Sambia found Jerome Roussillon, whose strike flew past Mike Maignan.

Dijon 1-1 Amiens

Amiens were pegged back to a 1-1 away draw at Dijon, in a result that sees the strugglers move two points above the drop zone.

A first half full of missed opportunities finally sparked into life in stoppage time, when the visitors took the lead – Serge Gakpe picking out Moussa Konate, who fired Amiens in front.

The relegation strugglers’ positive start to the second half came to end when Dijon equalised, Wesley Said netting from Papy Djilobodji’s assist.

Gael Kakuta couldn’t find a way past Baptiste Reynet in the Dijon goal, meaning that the spoils were shared.

Bordeaux 0-0 Angers

Bordeaux’s winless run extended to four games, after being held to a goalless stalemate against an improved Angers outfit.

In a game that saw just two shots on target, both from Gus Poyet’s side, the lack of a clinical touch proved to be what cost either team maximum points.

Angers are now three games unbeaten, off the back of two consecutive wins, which has seen them clamber out of the bottom three and into 14th place. However, Bordeaux, who enjoyed a superb run for a period after Poyet’s announcement as new manager, are in danger of sliding back down the table after such a poor run of performances.

Paris Saint-Germain 5-0 Metz

PSG recovered from their Champions League Round of 16 exit at the hands of Real Madrid, after brushing aside Metz in a comprehensive 5-0 victory.

Thomas Meunier opened the scoring after five minutes, drilling home emphatically past Eiji Kawashima after Kylian Mbappe’s effort was blocked inside the box.

On 20 minutes, it was two-nil. Youngster Christopher Nkunku, off the back of a superb showing last weekend, drilled home into the bottom corner following Marco Verratti’s pass. The talented Frenchman notched his second of the game soon after, his strike beating Kawashima from 20 yards.

A first half of domination from the runaway leaders was capped off in stoppage time, when Kylian Mbappe slotted home amid muted celebrations, the Champions League exit seemingly weighing heavily on the attacker’s mind.

In the 82nd minute, Thiago Silva rounded off a strong performance from Unai Emery’s side with a towering header from Giovani Le Celso’s accurate delivery.

Sunday:

Lyon 1-0 Caen

Lyon finally returned to winning ways, albeit with an unconvincing 1-0 home win over Caen.

Bruno Genesio’s side moved to within two points of third-place Marseille, who contested the final game in this matchweek Sunday evening.

Myziane Maolida’s effort was the only strike on target in the opening period, the experienced Remy Vercoutre saving comfortably.

Lyon ramped up the pressure after the break, Ferland Mendy cracking a shot against the woodwork and Mariano was denied by a superb, sprawling stop from Vercoutre.

Caen almost made the home side pay for missed chances, when Enzo Crivelli hit the upright with a header and Ronny Rodelin forced Anthony Lopes into a low save.

But four minutes later, Lyon made the breakthrough. Bertrand Traore saw an effort blocked from outside the box, but the Burkina Faso international made no mistake second time round, burying into the bottom corner.

Guingamp 2-5 Nice

Nice brought their poor recent run to an end, after triumphing in a gripping goalfest at Guingamp.

Clement Grenier broke the deadlock for the home side after nine minutes, firing home from the penalty spot following Marlon Santos’ foul inside the box.

But after 24 minutes, Nice were level. Following a rapid breakaway, Ihsan Sacko released Alassane Plea, who made no mistake in drilling past Karl-Johan Johnsson.

Plea scored his second of the game just two minutes after the break, smashing low into the bottom corner inside the penalty area.

The Nice attacker sealed his hat-trick soon after, finishing neatly after being teed up by Pierre Lees-Melou.

Marlon Santos’ own goal late on proved to only be a consolation for Guingamp, who were finished off ruthlessly by Bassem Srarfi and Plea’s fourth moments before the full-time whistle.

Toulouse 1-2 Marseille

Kostas Mitroglou scored just moments after coming on, as Marseille recorded an away victory at Toulouse to move five points clear of fourth-place Lyon.

Lucas Ocampos opened the scoring for the visitors after ten minutes, finding the back of the net from close range moments after Luis Gustavo’s header was blocked inside the penalty area.

But, firmly against the run of play, Toulouse were level nine minutes later – Issaiga Sylla’s delivery converted coolly by Firmin Ndombe Mubele.

Just as it appeared Marseille would have to settle for a share of the spoils, the introduction of ex-Fulham forward Mitroglou saw the visitors leave with all three points. Just a minute about his substitution for Valere Germain, the Greek international thundered home off the crossbar at the back post, following Dimitri Payet’s cross across goal.

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.