Matchday 14 - Saturday review
Nene (pictured) scores twice as Monaco crush Strasbourg while Lens leave Metz in further trouble and PSG draw at home to Nancy
Gakpe 43, Nene 61, 90
Monaco's revival continued as they grabbed their second consecutive Ligue 1 win with a thumping 3-0 victory over Strasbourg.
Brazilian midfielder Nene was the star of the show, scoring two second-half goals to give the Principality outfit a comfortable triumph. France U21 international Serge Gakpe netted the other as Ricardo's side followed up last week's 1-0 win at Rennes in impressive style.
The result lifts Monaco to seventh place in the table and the margin of victory was nothing less than they deserved after an excellent display at their Stade Louis II. The opening goal arrived just before half-time when Monaco goalkeeper Flavio Roma drove a long ball downfield and Gakpe picked it up, moved forward and finished coolly past Stephane Cassard.
As Strasbourg searched for a way back into the match after the break, spaces opened up for the hosts and Brazilian Nene, one of Monaco's most impressive performers since his arrival from Celta Vigo in August, profited royally. First he was set up by Monaco's France international striker Frederic Piquionne and the Brazilian made no mistake with a close-range finish. The visitors' heads dropped as they knew the game was beyond them and Monaco grabbed a third in injury-time. Second-half substitute Jeremy Menez and playmaker Camel Meriem combined to find Nene at the far post, and he found the net with a neat left-foot finish.
Monaco will hope to continue their climb towards the European places while Strasbourg drop to ninth.
PSG are still waiting for their first home win of the season after they could only draw against high-flying visitors Nancy at the Parc Des Princes.
Yet the scoreline was surprising given that both sides had plenty of chances to score. Nancy had the better of the opening half, with towering centre-half Sebastien Puygrenier keeping quiet PSG striker Pauleta and, at the other end of the field, the visitors' centre-forward Marc-Antoine Fortune causing problems for the home defenders.
Moments after the break Kim came close to opening the scoring for the visitors but his cross-shot sailed just wide of Mickael Landreau's far post. Then Fortune blasted a shot over the bar when he had only Landreau to beat.
After living dangerously PSG struck back just before the hour mark as Pauleta nearly scored when he fired a left-foot volley against the crossbar from the edge of the area. His strike partner David N'Gog then forced an excellent save from Nancy goalkeeper Gregory Bracigliano's feet, However, Nancy had the best late chance of the game when Youssef Hadji pulled the ball back to onrushing midfielder Landry N'Guemo, whose shot scraped the foot of the post.
After this goalless stalemate it's eight matches without a home win for PSG, who are 13th, while Nancy stay second.
Monterrubio 57, Khiter 86
A late winner from substitute Seid Khiter earned Lens a first away win of the season as Jean-Pierre Papin's men triumphed at the Stade Saint-Symphorien. The victory lifts Lens to 15th in Ligue 1.
After a first half that reflected the perilous position both sides find themselves in, the match was finally opened up by a moment of madness in the
But with 20 minutes to go Francis De Taddeo's side finally put together a decent move and managed to force an equaliser that had looked unlikely. A cross from the right from the substitute Cheikh Gueye was overhit but Miralam Pjanic did well to rescue the situation and once he had pulled the ball back for Peruvian striker Wilmer Aguirre there was only going to be one outcome and Metz were level. But Lens under JPP are now a different proposition to earlier in the season: having just missed a great chance to win the game through Monterrubio, they kept plugging away and were finally rewarded when the substitute Khiter pounced to force home a winner with just four minutes left.
Kahlenberg (pen) 8
A dramatic late equaliser from midfielder Romain Pitau earned Sochaux a deserved point from an entertaining match against Auxerre at the Stade Bonal.
In a traditionally evenly-matched fixture (since 2001 both sides have enjoyed two wins and two draws) it was Auxerre who struck first. As early as the eighth minute, the usually reliable Teddy Richert failed to control a back pass from Damien Perquis and having lost the ball succeeded only in fouling Auxerre's Romanian Daniel Niculae. Referee Stephane Lannoy had little option but to point to the spot and - after a yellow card for the goalkeeper - Danish midfielder Thomas Kahlenberg coolly converted the penalty.
With just one defeat since the first day of September, Frederic Hantz's Sochaux side had good reason to be optimistic of finding a way back, but despite having plenty of the ball and creating chances, they seemed unable to trouble Olivier Sorin in the Auxerre goal. The introduction of the former Tottenham, Inter and PSG player Stephane Dalmat with 20 minutes to go proved crucial as the midfielder took control of the game. And with just seconds left on the clock, he made a telling contribution, finding Pitau in the box who cracked home the winner to deny Auxerre a first away win of the season.
Sebo 16, 44, Savidan 61
After a bright start from the visitors it was
Plestan own goal 42
Lille's poor finishing let them down yet again as they drew for the eighth time this season despite having enough chances to collect three points instead of finishing 1-1.
The hosts took the lead on 18 minutes when Stephane Lichtsteiner, excellent down the right for les Lillois this season, burst forward and found Nicolas Fauvergue in the box. The young striker made no mistake in beating Nice's deputy goalkeeper Lionel Letizi from close range.
Nice struggled to create chances as they left leading scorer Bakari Kone isolated up front but they struck back in the 42nd minute. In a rare foray forward, Nice found Habib Bamogo, and the striker put the ball into the box only for Lille defender Nicolas Plestan to trick his own goalkeeper Tony Sylva by diverting the ball into the net.
After the break Brazilian winger Michel Bastos struck a couple of fierce shots for the hosts and substitute Kevin Mirallas also came close for Lille. But Nice had chances themselves, with Kone, Bamogo and Brazilian playmaker Ederson all testing Sylva.
In the end a draw was probably a fair result although the visitors will be happier. They drop one place but are an impressive eighth while Lille remain 11th.