Week 12 review: Goals galore as top four, LOSC win

Ligue 1 Conforama > News

By S. Willis

PSG, Monaco, OL and OM all scored at least five unanswered goals in their resounding Week 12 wins, while Marcelo Bielsa's embattled LOSC claimed a first three-pointer since the opening day of the season.

Ligue 1 Conforama's top four teams were in bullish mood over the weekend, bagging 21 unanswered goals in big wins that nonetheless left the upper reaches of the table in the same shape they were in heading into Week 12.

Although Stade Rennais FC got the round started with a 1-0 win over Bordeaux on Friday night - a Jérémy Toulalan own-goal handed Christian Gourcuff's side a fourth win in a row in all competitions - it was leaders Paris Saint-Germain who got it going in earnest.

Cavani cracks ton

Coming off a 5-0 UEFA Champions League win at home to Anderlecht on Tuesday, Unai Emery's men brought their continental form to bear in France, with Edinson Cavani scoring his 100th Ligue 1 Conforama goal for Paris as the capital picked usually hard-to-beat Angers apart 5-0 despite the suspension absence of superstar Neymar Jr.

"We started well, we kept pushing and we finished the game well too. We want to demonstrate, with our attitude and our capacity to go and attack the opposition, that we can make the difference in games, and that the result will match our domination of the game," said PSG boss Emery, whose side remain unbeaten in all competitions this season. "It is true that our first goal opened the game up for us, but we had five big chances in the first 30 minutes. And we never let up after that."

Monaco answer call

Later that evening, second-placed reigning champions AS Monaco needed a win over EA Guingamp to limit PSG's lead to four points, and Leonardo Jardim's men rose to the challenge. In fact - despite the injury absences of top scorer Radamel Falcao and star midfielder Thomas Lemar - Monaco out-scored PSG in a 6-0 drubbing of the Brittany side at the Stade Louis II.

"We said we needed to have a good first half and the players did that so we could see out the game in the second half, " said Jardim, whose side were held in 1-1 in mid-week UEFA Champions League action against Besiktas. "We are maintaining our level, but I am not thinking about [Week 14 opponents] Paris just now. We are four points behind and when we play them it will be a chance to close to one point."

OL ruthless in derby drubbing

Although the received wisdom is that form goes out the window in a derby, third-placed Olympique Lyonnais continued their impressive recent run (15 goal scored, three conceded in five consecutive wins in all competitions) with their biggest-ever win away to bitter Rhône derby rivals AS Saint-Etienne.

The match was halted early due to flare smoke covering the pitch, but after play resumed Lyon went on the offensive and were two goals up at half-time before ASSE had Léo Lacroix sent off (47') early in the second. OL captain Nabil Fekir scored a double - and riled up the home fans with his celebration - as the visitors stitched up an historic 5-0 win at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.

"It makes you proud to win a derby at the Geoffroy-Guichard, especially by such a big margin. We're very proud of this win and very happy," said OL boss Bruno Genesio, whose numerous new recruits and home-grown stars are really beginning to jell. "This result puts us in a good position as we head into the final ten matches before the end of the calendar year. If we can repeat this kind of performance, we can set our sights on a top-three finish."

OM get their own five-goal haul

Earlier on Sunday, Olympique de Marseille temporarily climbed to third place on the back of their own 5-0 win, Rudi Garcia's men bouncing back from mid-week Europa League defeat by giving in-form SM Caen a torrid afternoon at the Stade Vélodrome.

"It was perhaps our best first half of the season, though the match against PSG was very good too," said Garcia, for whom France forward Florian Thauvin grabbed two goals and an assist. "This time, we didn't concede a goal, played well, mixed up long and short balls, one-twos. And above all we scored against one of the league's best defences. We have won five of our last seven league games, that's good and that's the way to end up near the top of the table."

Breathing space for Bielsa

Meanwhile Marcelo Bielsa's embattled LOSC shone a glimmer of hope on their season with 3-0 win away to bottom club FC Metz - their first win since the opening day of the season.

"It was a very important game and the fact we got a favourable result is good news," said the Argentine coach, whose job was widely considered to be on the line should his side have failed to get a result. "A calm environment is always welcome and necessary, but it's true the team's results have generated this instability around the club. We needed fewer chances to score, so that is something to take into consideration."

In other action, Claudio Ranieri's FC Nantes pulled into fifth place with a 2-1 win at home to Toulouse, breaking a two-match losing run in all competitions, while OGC Nice halted a horror run of six-straight defeats in all competitions with a 1-0 win over Dijon as Mario Balotelli struck from the spot before seeing red (89').


Amiens rescued a point in Montpellier thanks to a spectacular first goal in French football from Italo-Brazilian Danilo Avelar and ESTAC Troyes prevailed 3-0 in their home clash with fellow promotees RC Strasbourg Alsace.


>> VIDEO: Official match highlights of all the Week 12 action

>> Week 12 reactions - Genesio: 'An historic result'



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