Ligue 1 Roundup: Monaco just need three more points and Nice qualify for UCL

Ligue 1

Saint Etienne-Bordeaux

The first match of the 36th fixture in French football was between Saint-Etienne and Bordeaux at the Stade Geoffroy Guichard. The home side started the match with a 4-3-3 formation and Stephane Ruffier in goal. Loic Perrin played at CB, while Vincent Pajot commanded the midfield. Romain Hamouma had a quality game on the wing, while striker Robert Beric enjoyed 4 goal-scoring opportunities. Bordeaux began with the same 4-3-3, with Igor Lewczuk acting as leading center back. Jaroslavi Plasil had a complete game in the midfield, as he participated in a goal with a beautiful pass. Adam Ounas and Gaetan Laborde had active games in attack, both being directly involved in the score.

The match began with both teams enjoying some opportunities, but none of the two willing to do enough to take the initiative. The opener came just 3 minutes before the break, when Ounas converted from the spot to end the half to make it 0-1. Robert Beric levelled things up just seconds into the second half, however the home side saw themselves quickly fall back 5 minutes after when Laborde scored Bordeaux’s second. The home side refused to lay down, and 14 minutes later would tie the score through Vincent Pajot. The match ended 2-2.

Saint Etienne are 7th with 50 points while Bordeaux are 6th with 57.

PSG-Bastia

The next match on Saturday had French giants Paris Saint Germain face Bastia at the Parc des Princes in front of 45,826 people. The Parisian side began with their usual 4-3-3, with Kevin Trapp in goal and captain Thiago Silva leading the back 4. Marco Verratti and Blaise Matuidi controlled the middle of the pitch. Up top played Lucas Moura along Ligue 1 top scorer Edinson Cavani. The away side lined up with a 4-4-1-1, with goalkeeper Jean-Louis Leca getting the nod. Alexander Djiku was the leading center back, yet he was never able to organize his defense throughout the game. Axel Ngando and Enzo Crivelli acted as attackers, yet had little to no influence on the game.

The match was one sided from beginning to end, as Lucas Moura opened the score in the 32nd minute of the match. Verratti scored from long range to make it 2-0, just 4 minutes after. The first half concluded with a 2-0 score. Edinson Cavani would score two more in the second half, while Marquinhos completed the 5-0. The Parisian squad is second with 83 points, with Monaco having to add just 3 points to be French champions. SC Bastia are last, as they have only 31 points.

Nancy-Monaco

The following match saw leaders Monaco visit humble Nancy at the Stade Marcel Picot. Coming into this fixture Monaco needed only 6 points from the last 4 matches to be crowned champions of Ligue 1. The home side aligned a 4-3-3, with Michael Chretien and Modou Diagne as center backs. Amine Bassi played on the right of the 3-men midfield. Faitout Maouassa was the only notable performer for the home side. The Monaco played with their regular 4-4-2, with Danijel Subasic in goal, and Djibril Sidibe and Kamil Glik as defenders. Thomas Lemar and Bernardo Silva acted as wide midfielders, while Valere Germain took the place of young Mbappe Lottin.

The match started as expected, with Monaco opening the score from an own goal just 3 minutes in. Bernardo Silva doubled Monaco’s lead 5 minutes before half time. The first half ended 0-2. The final goal to bring the score to 0-3 wouldn’t come until the 86th minute, when Thomas Lemar fired a shot in. Monaco are now 3 points away from the title.

Nancy are 19th with 32 points while Monaco are in first place with 86.

Lorient-Angers

The next game had two bottom half of the league clubs battle at the Stade du Moustoir, as Lorient hosted Angers on Saturday. The home side aligned with their compact 4-4-2, with usual Benjamin Lecomte in goal. Michael Ciani led the defense, while Arnold Mvuemba and Romain Philippoteaux commanded the midfield. Majeed Waris acted as a striker, creating only 1 scoring opportunity. The away club began with a 4-3-3, with Issa Cissokho and Vincent Manceau as full-backs. Cheikh Ndoye and Thomas Mangani had great games in the midfield, as always. Famara Diedhiou failed to create much in attack for the away side, as he was subbed off 66 minutes in.

The match began with a slow tempo, as both teams were looking to have problems putting more than 5 passes together. The first half ended 0-0 with few chances on goal. The second half had a little more pace behind it, as Romain Philippoteaux opened the score in the 62nd minute. Vincent Manceau tied things up at the 72nd minute. The match ended with a 1-1 tie, as both teams split a point for their tally.  Angers are 14th with 40 points, while Lorient are 17th with 35 points.

Lille-Metz

The next game had Lille battle Metz at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy. The home team played with a 4-2-3-1, with Marko Basa and Sebastien Corchia as defenders. Ibrahim Amadou and Nicolas de Preville played in midfield. The away side lined up with a 4-3-3, with Eiji Kawashima in goal. Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Jonathan Rivierez had much influence as full backs. Georges Mandjeck and Renaud Cohade really made the difference in midfield, while Opa Nguette performed on the wing.

The first half had some chances for both teams, with the opener coming via Georges Mandjeck, and the half ended 0-1. Renaud Cohade sealed the 0-2 victory in the 56th minute. The match ended with a win for the away side by two goals to none. Lille are 11th with 43 points, while direct rivals Metz are now 13th with 42 points.

Toulouse-Caen

The following matchup had Toulouse host Caen at the Stadium Municipal in front of 18,000 people. The home team began with a 4-2-3-1 with young Alban Lafont in goal, and potent youngster Issa Diop in defense. Oscar Trejo and Alexis Blin played as a midfield pair, with Martin Braithwaite and Corentin Jean playing on the wings. Caen formed a 5-3-2 with Remy Vercoutre in goal and Damien da Silva leading a 5-man defense. Vincent Bessat and Jonathan Delaplace performed as full-backs. Juien Feret dominated the midfield while Ivan Santini did the duties up top.

The only goal of the match would be scored by Santini score in the 58th minute with a peculiar finish to beat Lafont. The match ended with a 0-1 win to Caen. Toulouse are 12th with 42 points, while Caen are 16th with 36 points.

Guingamp-Dijon

The last match on Saturday was played between Guingamp and Dijon at the Municipal du Roudourou. The 13 thousand fans witnessed an extremely one sided match, with the home side dismantling Dijon by a score of 4-0. Jimmy Briand opened the score just 4 minutes into the match. The first half consisted of many chances for the home side, although they were not able to put any away. The first half ended 1-0. All the chances Guingamp missed, would soon be put away. Yannis Salibur scored two quick goals, one from the spot, two secure a win for the home side. Jimmy Briand would score his brace, making it 4-0. Guingamp are currently 9th with 47 points, while Dijon are sitting in relegation zone with 33 points.

Rennes-Montpellier

The first match on Sunday had Rennes battle Montpellier in front of 18,000 people at the Roazhon Park. The home side aligned a 4-2-3-1, with Benoit Costil in goal and Joris Gnagon in defense. Benjamin Andre and Yoann Gourcuff dominated the midfield while Firmin Ndombe scored the only goal of the game. The away side began with a 4-2-3-1, with Laurent Pionnier in goal and Nordi Mukiele playing as a fullback. Yacouba Sylla and Ryad Boudebouz performed as midfielders. Isaac Mbenza played as a lone striker. The only goal of the game was scored by Firmin Mubele Ndombe in the 80th minute to give the home side a dramatic win. They are 10th in the league with 47 points, while Montpellier are 15th with 39.

Lyon-Nantes

The following match had Lyon host Nantes at the beautiful Stade des Lumieres. The home side started with a 4-2-3-1, with Anthony Lopes in goal, and Emanuel Mammana playing as a center back in the line of 4. Youngster Lucas Tousart and Memphis Depay commanded Lyons possession and attack, with Alexandre Lacazette playing as a striker. The away side began with a 4-4-2, with Maxime Dupe in goal and Leo Dubois as a right back. Guillaume Gillet and Valentin Rongier acted in the midfield and performed quite positively.

Emiliano Sala failed to perform at his usual level. The match began with an opener by Valentin Rongier in the 19th minute. The first half had many chances for both teams, but no one was able to score after that for the remaining minutes. However, the second half was a different story, with both teams bagging a total of 4 goals. Fekir converted from the spot in the 65th minute, while Maxwell Cornet scored 5 minutes after to turn the score around. Guillaume Gillet tied things up in the 75th minute, but Cornet completed his brace just 5 minutes after. The entertaining match ended with a 3-2 win for the home side. Lyon are 4th in the table with 63 points, while Nantes are 8th with 48 points.

Marseille-Nice

The last match of match day 36 had a competitive Marseille face Nice at the Stade Orange Velodrome. The home side played with a 4-3-3, with Yohann Pele in goal and Patrice Evra on the left. Morgan Sanson dominated the midfield as usual, with Florian Thauvin and Dimitri Payet on the wings. Nice put out a 4-2-3-1 with Yoan Cardinale in goal. Jean Seri and Vincent Koziello played as a midfield pair, with Ricardo Pereira and Mario Balotelli getting involved in attack.

The match began with a quick opener by Bafetimbi Gomis. Mario Balotelli would then score the equalizer in the 50th minute. Ex-Manchester United legend Patrice Evra would score the winner for Marseille in the 66th minute. The game would end with a 2-1 win for the home side, as they are now 5th in the league with 58 points. Nice secured a Champions League qualification spot, as they are 3rd with 77 points.

Final Scores:

Saint Etienne 2-2 Bordeaux

PSG 5-0 SC Bastia

Nancy 0-3 Monaco

Lorient 1-1 Angers

Lille 0-2 Metz

Toulouse 0-1 Caen

Guingamp 4-0 Dijon

Rennes 1-0 Montpellier

Lyon 3-2 Nantes

Marseille 2-1 Nice