Week 10 Review: Ney bother in fiery Classique
By D. Crossan
Neymar tasted the highs and lows of a dramatic Le Classique, OL's Memphis Depay struck his first hat-trick, Nantes are flying playing the Claudio Ranieri way and Week 10 saw Philippe Hinschberger become the first coaching casualty of the season.
The only place to start the round-up is the Orange Vélodrome where Olympique de Marseille were on course to beat Paris Saint-Germain for the first time since 2011, only for a gem of a free-kick from Edinson Cavani for the ten-man visitors in added time to deny OM a maximum haul.
OM led twice, through Luiz Gustavo (16') and Florian Thauvin (78'), but were pegged back on both occasions. Neymar, the world's most expensive player, marked his Classique debut with a precise equaliser (33') though his second yellow card (87') for pushing Lucas Ocampos rather summed up the difficulties the Ligue 1 Conforama leaders had against a committed OM side.
Neymar: "I own up to my mistake"
Neymar commented: "I didn't lose my cool and I own up to my mistake. Marseille played well and we didn't play as well as we usually do. I think we can do better. The state of the pitch played a role as the grass was long and the pitch was dry. We didn't manage to impose our game. We need to be ourselves and we weren't in this match."
Mbappé: "They didn't tell me 'we have to win the Classique'."
Kylian Mbappé, subbed off before the end, added: "Perhaps we didn't realise the importance of the match. I'm French but we also know the objectives of the club. When I signed I was told 'the objective is to win the title, the dream is to win the Champions League'. They didn't tell me 'we have to win the Classique'."
PSG's lead over champions Monaco at the top has been cut to four points. The principality club returned to winning ways, ending a four-match victory-less run as they beat Caen 2-0 at the Stade Louis II. Keita Baldé scored the opener, his first Monaco goal, and Radamel Falcao added the second from the spot. The division's top scorer now has an incredible 13 goals from just nine Ligue 1 Conforama appearances.
Nantes scored their sixth one-goal victory of the season as they beat Guingamp 2-1. Ranieri's men are third in the table, two points back from Monaco. Could the Italian inspire Les Canaris to an improbable title the way he magically led Leicester to the Premier League two seasons ago?
Three sublime finishes from Memphis Depay inspired Olympique Lyonnais to a resounding 5-0 success at Troyes as the fourth-placed club maintained their remarkable form since the international break. The Dutch international completed his first professional hat-trick with a penalty after winning an argument to take it with Mariano Diaz, who also got on the scoresheet late on.
Hinschberger dismissed with Metz rock bottom
Metz coach Hinschberger didn't survive a 2-1 loss to Dijon and was dismissed with the club at the foot of the table on three points, six points back from third-bottom Dijon. Like Metz, Lille have only one win this season and Marcelo Bielsa's men are second-bottom after a 1-0 defeat at Rennes. Benjamin Bourigeaud ensured a tumultuous week for the Breton club ended on a high by netting an early winner.
Strasbourg scored their first top-flight away win since 2008 as a Nuno Da Costa double earned a 2-1 success at struggling Nice. Montpellier's excellent form against the big clubs continued on Friday night as Isaac Mbenza's goal condemned Saint-Etienne to ther first home loss of the season.
Bordeaux fell 1-0 at Amiens to a Guy Ngosso goal, while captain Issa Diop scored the only goal of the game as Toulouse won at Angers.