Ligue 1 Round Up: PSG’s march to the title continues after narrow win over Monaco

Ligue 1

Goals from Edinson Cavani and Neymar helped Paris Saint-Germain beat Monaco this weekend, meaning the Parisians have tightened their grip on the Ligue 1 title. Elsewhere, Lyon routed Nice, piling the pressure on Lucian Favre, and Amiens continued their impressive rise up the table.

Read below for all the Ligue 1 action this weekend:

Friday

St Etienne 2-2 Strasbourg

New St Etienne head coach, Julien Sable has been unable to mend his team’s poor home form, after Strasbourg capitalised on poor defending to pick up a scrappy away point.

The home side took the lead five minutes before half time, after Hernani drove through the middle of the midfield, played a one-two with Kevin Monnet-Pacquet, before curling home a brilliant effort from just outside the box.

It was a goal of real class to open the scoring, but St Etienne were pegged back just three minutes later after some poor defensive work. After the home side failed to clear their lines on several occasions, a stabbed ball into the box fell to the feet of Jean Eudes Aholou, who rifled home a powerful effort into the roof the net.

St Etienne retook the lead ten minutes after the interval. Jonathan Bamba attempted to play through a defence-splitting pass that was blocked, only for the ball to bounce into the penalty area. Monnet-Pacquet latched on, rounded Bingorou Kamara and slotted home off the chest of a diving Bakary Kone.

But just after the hour mark, relegation-threated Strasbourg equalised, after Florentin Pogba bundled over Bakary Kone inside the box. Jonas Martin stepped up and found the back of the net, ensuring his team left with a much-needed point. The result means that St Etienne sit in sixth place, while Strasbourg remain in real danger of dropping out the division, in 18th.

Saturday

Rennes 2-1 Nantes

A late Wahbi Khazri strike was enough to steal all three points for mid-table Rennes.

After a tight first half, it was the home side who took the lead five minutes after the interval, as the former Sunderland man tucked home his first of the game. Nantes failed to clear away a scramble in their box, and Khazri jinked onto his right foot before guiding the ball home low across Ciprian Tatarusanu.

Nantes were reduced to ten men after 57 minutes, when Nicolas Pallois was shown his second yellow card following a rash foul. And the home side should have made their man advantage count just before the 60-minute mark. Benjamin Bourigeaud whipped in a dangerous cross from a set-piece, but Benjamin Andre could only guide his header wide of the left hand post.

In the 72nd minute, Adrien Thomasson was fouled by Mexer in the penalty area, and Emiliano Sala stepped up to blast his penalty into the roof of the net.

But it was the home side who would wrap up the three points right at the death. Just before stoppage time, Benjamin Andre held off a challenge before rolling the ball to Khazri, who tucked home into the far corner. The late winner means that Rennes sit in eighth place, while Nantes remain in fifth.

Caen 1-0 Bordeaux

Caen continued their rise up the Ligue 1 table with a narrow home win over Bordeaux. Both teams have been battling for a mid-table spot so far this campaign, and the opening exchanges suggested the rest of the game would be a close one.

After only three minutes the home side created the first opportunity. Ivan Santini picked out Ronny Rodelin inside the penalty area, but the forward could only drive his shot into a defender. Bordeaux carved out their first chance just a few minutes after, when Vukasin Jovanovic flicked a headed pass to Kamano, who headed narrowly wide.

But it was the home side who took the lead in the 23rd minute. Ronny Rodelin whipped in a delivery which picked out the head of Santini, who planted his effort into the top right corner.

Caen could have made it two-nil just before the interval, when Julien Feret set up Adama Mbengue, who saw his left footed effort hit the bar. Bordeaux looked for a route back into the game in the second half, but the home side held firm for an impressive three points which sees them continue their impressive rise into sixth place.

Dijon 3-1 Toulouse

Dijon made it two wins from two since the international break, with a 3-1 home victory over mid-table Toulouse.

The away side could have taken the lead after only four minutes, when Papy Djilobodji fouled Alexis Blin in the penalty area. Max Gradel, on loan from Premier League side Bournemouth, fired his penalty towards the bottom left corner but could only watch as the goalkeeper saved well.

Dijon made their best chance count three minutes before half time. Wesley Said laid off to Kwon Chang-Hoon, who danced his way towards goal before tucking home through the goalkeeper.

And just before the hour mark, the home side doubled their advantage. Frederic Sammaritano raced down the right side before delivering into the penalty area. Xeka met the cross and guided home into the bottom corner, after finding himself completely unmarked.

In the 64th minute, Dijon wrapped up the three points. Julio Tavares played through Wesley Said, who rifled home at Lafont’s near post. Andy Delort’s late consolation wasn’t enough to rescue a result for Toulouse, who slip to 14th place. Dijon, meanwhile, move up to 12th.

Metz 0-2 Amiens

Amiens continued their surge up the Ligue 1 table, after a comfortable 2-0 win away at Metz. The home side have only picked up four points so far this season, and currently have to make up an eight-point gap with Lille in 19th place.

Despite the score line, it was the home side who had the most shots on target, and the final effort was what really let them down this weekend. Chris Philipps delivered for Ibrahima Niane, who could only nod wide, and Opa Nguette saw his shot from outside the box well blocked.

Just before the half hour mark, Amiens opened the scoring. Bakaye Dibassy whipped in a dangerous cross, which Moussa Konate converted with his head to score his fifth goal of the season. The away side continued their dominance after the goal, and in the 65th minute sealed the three points. Gael Kakuta passed to Bongani Zungu, who steadied himself and fired home across the goalkeeper.

The result means that Metz’s relegation is inevitable, whilst Amiens have escaped from a relegation scrap and moved into tenth place.

Montpellier 3-0 Lille

Montpellier piled the misery on relegation-threatened Lille, after a comfortable 3-0 home victory. The visitors placed their head coach, Marcelo Bielsa, under temporary suspension this week, although many expect the sacking to be officially announced soon. And with Bielsa watching the game from a café in Lille, the visitors quickly fell apart.

After only four minutes, Montpellier took the lead. Paul Lasne picked out Jerome Roussillon, who guided the ball into the bottom left corner from inside the penalty area. And the visitors were forced into a change just after, with Anwar El Ghazi having to be withdrawn after picking up an injury.

The home side continued to assert their dominance, and doubled their lead in the 26th minute. Jerome Roussillon turned provider after playing in a dangerous cross that was met by the left foot of Giovanni Sio, who finished low beyond Maignan.

Just five minutes later, it was three. Giovanni Sio picked out Casimir Ninga into the box, who fired his effort into the bottom left corner. After half time the away side improved considerably, but were unable to beat Benjamin Lecomte who was in inspired form when tested. The comfortable end result sees Montpellier move up to seventh, while Lille remain in real danger of dropping out of the division.

Troyes 3-0 Angers

Relegation-threatened Angers fell to a disappointing 3-0 away defeat to Troyes, who continued their rise into the mid-table places.

Both Saif-Eddine Khaoui and Suk Hyun-Jun missed early opportunities for the home side, but Angers’ resistance took only 12 minutes to be broken down. Stephane Darbion played through Khaoui, who calmly picked his spot and slotted home into the bottom left corner. After the goal, the away side improved drastically and squandered missed opportunities through Lassana Coulibaly and Romain Thomas.

And just before half time, Troyes made their next big chance count. Samuel Grandsir picked out Suk Hyun-Jun, who drilled home an effort low across Michel.

In the 64th minute Enzo Crivelli set up Karl Toko Ekabmi, who rifled an effort towards the bottom left corner that was well saved by Mamadou Samassa in the Troyes goal. Five minutes before full-time, Troyes wrapped up the three points after Romain Thomas accidentally found the back of his own net. The victory sees Troyes move into 11th place, while struggling Angers sit in 17th, just two points from second-bottom.

Sunday

Nice 0-5 Lyon

Lyon proved once again that they are one of the most fearsome attacking forces in Europe, after they demolished Nice 5-0 in a comprehensive away performance.

It was the away side who took the lead after only five minutes. Following a lightning break way Maxwel Cornet played through Memphis Depay across the box, who slid in and fired an effort into the net.

After Lyon should have scored another, they did eventually make it two. Kenny Tete laid off to Cornet who danced his way through two defenders, before slotting his shot past Benitez.

Just 27 minutes into the game, it was three nil. Houssem Aouar played through Mariano, whose lightning pace saw him clear the Nice defence, before the forward drove home a low shot into the bottom left corner with his first touch.

Memphis Depay grabbed his second of the game five minutes before half time. Mariano laid off to the Dutchman just outside the box, and he curled home a first time effort past Benitez and into the bottom right corner.

In the 70th minute, Marlon Santos was shown a red card after two yellow cards, just ten minutes later the away side scored their fifth. Tanguy NDombele fed through Maolida, who finished across Benitez to comprehensively seal the three points. The result sees Lyon move into second place before Monaco’s showdown with PSG, while the pressure on Lucian Favre increases with his side now sitting in 18th.

Marseille 1-0 Guingamp

Marseille continued their impressive start to the season with a narrow 1-0 victory over Guingamp. The home side scored just after the half hour mark, when Dimitri Payet exchanged passes with Thauvin, before the former Newcastle winger dribbled into the penalty area and slotting home a low effort.

Thauvin could have doubled his tally just two minutes later, when he received Jordan Amavi’s cross but could only fire a left-footed effort wide. The away side clung on until the half time interval, with Marseille having the majority of the clear-cut efforts on Karl-Johan Johnsson’s goal.

Guingamp had to wait until the 76th minute for their best chance. Jonathan Pereira delivered in a cross which was met by Marcus Thurman, but he could only send his header wide of Steve Mandanda’s far post. Ludovic Blas fired his effort straight at the Marseille goalkeeper in stoppage time, and his team’s loss means that they sit in 15th place. Marseille however continue their impressive form and sit in fourth.

Monaco 1-2 Paris Saint Germain

Paris Saint Germain extended their lead at the top of Ligue 1 after Neymar’s penalty helped defeat Monaco.

Last season’s runners up could have opened the scoring after only two minutes, when Neymar played through former Monaco striker Kylian Mbappe. But as Subasic raced off his line the angle narrowed for the wonderkid, who could only fire into the side netting. Edinson Cavani then stabbed a sliding effort narrowly wide of the far post, before PSG did eventually take the lead.

Julian Draxler played the ball across to Cavani, who continued his red hot streak of goals with a deft finish into the roof of the net.

In the 26th minute, Monaco went close after Radamel Falcao curled a free kick narrowly wide of Areola’s top left corner.

Just before half time, the away side should have made it two-nil, when Julian Draxler forced an excellent low stop from Subasic. But PSG did eventually get their next big chance. Neymar was felled by Almamy Toure in the penalty area, and referee pointed to the spot. The Brazilian stuttered his run up and calmly stroked the ball home into the bottom left corner.

Mbappe has a poor game by his incredibly high standards, and his determination to find the back of the net against his old club led to several poor finishes in the second half. And his game went from bad to worse when Joao Moutinho’s free-kick deflected off him and floated over Areola in the 81st minute.

Despite the late goal, Monaco couldn’t find an equaliser, meaning they drop to third place after Lyon’s 5-0 rout. PSG meanwhile have extended their lead at the top of the table to nine points.

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.