Ligue 1 Round-Up: Relegation scrap continues while Weah makes PSG debut

Ligue 1

The fight to avoid the drop in Ligue 1 continued this weekend with both Lille and Troyes hitting a rough patch of form at the worst possible time.

Elsewhere in France, Timothy Weah, son of ex-PSG and AC Milan striker George Weah, made his debut for the runaway leaders in the 2-0 away victory at Troyes – whilst also coming close to grabbing a debut goal.

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

Friday

Monaco 2-1 Bordeaux

Monaco strengthened their grip on second place with a gritty performance in a 2-1 win against Bordeaux.

The visitors, under the stewardship of Gus Poyet, opened the scoring on 32 minutes when Valentin Vada fired home inside the penalty area – their first attempt on target.

But Stevan Jovetic, who has been in scintillating form recently for Leonardo Jardim’s side, found the leveller on the stroke of half time after being played through by Thomas Lemar.

Monaco’s dominance continued into the second period, and eventually resulted in a well deserved second goal. Djibril Cisse found Rony Lopes, whose strike hurtled past Benoit Costil for the winner.

Nice 2-1 Lille

Lille are now winless in their last five games after falling to a 2-1 away defeat at Nice.

Mario Balotelli’s clinical season continued in only the fifth minute, when he cooly converted Wylan Cyprian’s delivery into the penalty area.

After half-time, firmly against the run of play, Lille found an unlikely equaliser in their scrap to climb out of the drop zone when Luiz Araujo found the back of the net.

But Nice continued to press for a winner, which eventually arrived in the 80th minute. Arnaud Souquet dug out a cross, and Cyprian turned from provider to goalscorer as he finished past Mike Maignan.

Saturday

St Etienne 2-2 Dijon

The spoils were shared in the mid-table clash between St Etienne and Dijon.

The game finally burst into life on the half hour mark, when the visitors took the lead. Julio Tavares drilled across Stephane Ruffier inside the penalty area following a lightning break away.

Just as it appeared Dijon would hold onto their slender lead at the break, St Etienne found the leveller through Robert Beric’s header, converting Gabriel Silva’s delivery.

Around the hour mark, two quick fire goals ensured that the points were shared between the two outfits. Wesley Said headed the visitors back into the lead after latching onto Florent Balmont’s cross, before Robert Beric scored his second of the game just six minutes later.

Metz 1-1 Toulouse

Metz were denied taking maximum points against Toulouse after Kelvin Adou’s late equaliser.

While the results may not be falling into place for the home side, their energy and commitment in every game, despite the inevitable end of season relegation, is a credit to Frederic Hantz’s side.

They took the lead on 32 minutes, after Nolan Roux converted Mathieu Dossevi’s delivery with his head. But just ten minutes later, Metz were reduced to ten men as Julian Palmieri was shown red for a poor challenge on Max Gradel.

Toulouse dominated the second half, but were forced to wait until the 84th minute for the equaliser. Firmin Ndombe Mubele picked out Kelvin Adou, who smashed past Eiji Kawashima.

Angers 3-0 Guingamp

Two wins in a fortnight has fired Angers three points clear of the bottom three, with a 3-0 home win over Guingamp further easing relegation fears.

In a game largely dominated by the away side, clinical finishing proved to be the difference as Guingamp suffered their first defeat in five games.

Angers scored their first a minute after the first whistle, with Flavien Tait nodding Pierrick Capelle’s delivery past Karl-Johan Johnsson.

Guingamp squandered several good openings after falling behind, but were punished by Angers on 89 minutes when Karl Toko Ekambi drilled into the left corner.

Ismael Traore’s third deep into stoppage time added gloss to the scoreline for Angers, who sit in 14th place with their opponents three places above.

Amiens 0-2 Rennes

Rennes moved into fifth place with an accomplished performance and 2-0 victory at relegation-threatened Amiens.

The breakthrough for the visitors came after 40 minutes, when Whabi Khazri continued his impressive season in a Rennes shirt with a well-taken strike into the bottom corner.

Chances in the second half were missed by both sides, leaving Rennes to score their second through Ismaila Sarr and wrap up the three points late on.

Troyes 0-2 Paris Saint-Germain

PSG were comfortable 2-0 victors over 18th place Troyes, with Timothy Weah handed his debut after Unai Emery rested key players for the Champions League Round of 16 clash against Real Madrid.

With Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe rested for the game, Angel di Maria, Julian Draxler and Christopher Nkunku were handed starts and it was the latter two who would send PSG 14 points clear at the top.

di Maria opened the scoring two minutes after the interval, after being played through by Draxler and finishing cooly past Erwin Zelazny.

PSG continued to dominate and scored their clincher through the talented Nkunku, after the youngster was teed up by Dani Alves.

Weah was introduced with ten minutes to play, and was denied a dream debut goal by Zelazny deep into stoppage time.

Sunday

Montpellier 1-1 Lyon

Lyon’s winless streak increased to five games after another disappointing stalemate, this time against Montpellier.

The home side opened the scoring after only seven minutes, when Isaac Mbenza latched onto Ruben Aguilar’s delivery and finished past Anthony Lopes.

After falling behind, Lyon began to fashion out the majority of chances, as Memphis Depay crashed an effort against the woodwork and Mariano also twice missed the target from good openings.

But the equaliser did eventually arrive on the stroke of 60 minutes, when Mariano finally found a way past Benjamin Lecomte.

The draw means that Lyon are now nine points behind second-place Monaco.

Caen 2-0 Strasbourg 

Caen eased past Strasbourg in a comfortable 2-0 home victory.

Despite the visitors having the majority of chances in the opening period, it was Caen who struck first two minutes before the interval. Stef Peeters released Enzo Crivelli, who slotted past Alexandre Oukidja inside the left upright.

And in a second half of limited openings, Caen scored their second on 87 minutes to wrap up the three points. After a quick breakaway, Ismael Diomande crossed into the penalty area and Frederic Guilbert converted – moving Caen six points above the drop zone.

Marseille 1-1 Nantes

A last gasp Florian Thauvin finish earned Marseille a point at the death against Nantes.

Claudio Ranieri’s visitors took a shock lead after 11 minutes, when Leo Dubois beat Steve Mandanda following Valentin Rongier’s pass.

A relatively even first half was brought to an end with both sides going close to scoring again.

But Marseille emerged from the interval much improved, and missed openings from Thauvin, Luis Gustavo and Dimitri Payet.

Just when it appeared Nantes would hold on for all three points, Marseille equalised after 95 minutes. Firstly, Adil Rami was denied by a superb block inside the box, before Thauvin saw another effort blocked. But seconds later, the Frenchman finally beat Ciprian Tatarusanu and sparked wild celebrations around the Stade Velodrome.

In the ensuing frenzy, Nicolas Pallois was shown a second yellow card as Nantes were forced to settle for a share of the spoils.

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.