Week 11 review: Paris continue ruthless run
Paris Saint-Germain stretched their unbeaten run to 19 matches in all competitions with a 3-0 win over OGC Nice to stay four points clear of nearest rivals AS Monaco, while troubles deepened for Marcelo Bielsa's LOSC.
With Neymar Jr suspended after his red card in Week 10, Paris Saint-Germain boss Unai Emery brought Angel Di Maria back into the starting line-up to almost immediate effect. The Argentine provided the assist for Edinson Cavani's brace - his 98th and 99th goals in Ligue 1 - and staked a real claim on a starting spot, potentially at the expense of teenage sensation Kylian Mbappé.
"At home in front of the supporters, the players gave more and it was more of a complete performance. We pressed really well and that upset Nice," said Emery, whose side play host to Anderlecht in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday. "[On Kylian Mbappé] If we look at all of Mbappé's matches, the level is very, very high. It wasn't his best game today, but overall I am very happy. He can't have the same performance levels every time, which is why the collective is so important."
Baldé, Lemar step up
The win put the pressure on second-placed Monaco to bridge the provisional seven-point gap and, despite the absence of injured captain and Ligue 1 Conforama top scorer Radamel Falcao, the principality club did just that, Keita Baldé and Thomas Lemar stepping up to dispatch Bordeaux 2-0 at the Matmut Atlantique on Saturday in excellent preparation for Wednesday's UEFA Champions League trip to Besiktas.
"The team played well and won the game. We were stronger than Bordeaux. I looked at the stats and it's the first time in more than 60 years that Monaco have won three games in a row against Bordeaux," said AS Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim after the third defeat in an winless run of four league matches for Les Girondins, who slip to eighth.
Fekir fires OL third as derby looms
On Sunday afternoon Olympique Lyonnais climbed to third place as fit-again captain Nabil Fekir scored a superb brace to go third on the Ligue 1 Conforama scorers chart with a 2-0 win over bottom club Metz, currently under the guidance of former reserve team coach José Pinot.
"We are third after 11 matches, which has some meaning to it. The important thing is to be consistent enough so that we are in the top three at the end of the season," said OL boss Bruno Genesio, who is staring down the barrel of a Europa League clash with Everton on Thursday and then the Rhône derby against Saint-Etienne on Sunday night. "We have a very exciting week with two very interesting matches. We know how important the derby is as well as the match against Everton, which gives us the chance to qualify with two matches to go in the group phase."
OM pile misery on LOSC
Olympique de Marseille climbed to fourth, a point shy of OL, thanks to a hard-fought 1-0 win in Lille, where Morgan Sanson's lone strike clinched a 1-0 win and heaped misery on former OM boss Marcelo Bielsa, who was keen to deflect responsibility from his players.
"It's the match in which we attacked and defended the best so far this season. But we can't be satisfied after a match like that," said the LOSC boss, whose side sit in 19th with just a single win so far this season. "The person who bears responsibility for this is me, that is obvious. I don't think the players should consider themselves responsible for the team's place on the table."
Look back in Angers
FC Nantes, knocked out of the Coupe de la Ligue by RC Strasbourg in mid-week, once again had their wings clipped as Dijon FCO strung together back-to-back league wins for the first time in five years thanks to newly minted all-time club top scorer Julio Tavares, who bagged his 56th goal for the club.
Saint-Etienne played out a 0-0 draw in Toulouse, while Angers were also held on the road but due to a lack of trying, with Strasbourg cancelling out two superb goals in succession for a 2-2 end result that nonetheless saw the promoted side slip into the drop zone (18th).
Montpellier fell victim to Stade Rennais' rising form, going down 1-0 at the Stade de la Mosson, while Caen had a Ronny Rodelin screamer to thank for the 1-0 win over ESTAC Troyes that sent them into seventh. EA Guingamp and Amiens played out a 1-1 draw at the Stade du Roudourou.