Week 29 review: Paris back on track as Lyon roar again
Paris Saint-Germain bounced back from Champions League agony with a somewhat nervy 2-1 win in Lorient to stay within three points of leaders Monaco; Memphis Depay scored a stunner as OL backed up Europa League success with a big win over Toulouse.
On paper, Paris Saint-Germain's trip to bottom club Lorient was well-timed, coming as it did just days after the historic 6-1 capitulation against Barcelona that saw the capital club dumped out of the Champions League. However, it was no walk in the park for Unai Emery's shell-shocked side, even though they emerged victorious to keep their hat in the title race.
"The team dominated throughout the 90 minutes of the game. We managed to lead 2-0 and even though we conceded a goal, we held on. We stopped our opponents creating a lot of chances. These three points are important," said Emery after youngster Christopher Nkunku scored his first senior-team goal to clinch the result. "We dominated the game and the team played very well, even if they can do better. But I'm very happy with the team's work."
Monaco keep nose in front
Doubtless Leonardo Jardim was equally pleased after AS Monaco bagged a first home win over Bordeaux since 2003 2-1, stretching their unbeaten run in Ligue 1 to 11 matches (nine wins). In-form youngster Kylian Mbappé struck his tenth of the season before Joao Moutinho curled an inch-perfect first time effort into the top corner for one of the weekend's several goal of the season contenders.
"Bordeaux are a lot better organised than they were at the start of the season. They didn't leave us a lot of space," conceded Jardim ahead of Wednesday night's Champions League round of 16 return leg at home to Manchester city. "Teams have analysed us and they come here with a more defensive strategy. Against teams that only come forward on counter-attacks, you have to try and score without giving your opponents opportunities. In those terms, we put in a great performance."
Memphis-powered OL in ferocious form
That captain Radamel Falcao returned from injury and laid on the assist for Mbappé's opener augurs well for the impending clash with City, but Monaco aren't the only ones looking good ahead of continental duties: Olympique Lyonnais are absolutely on fire and shaping up for a place in the Europa League quarters following a huge week.
Bruno Genesio's men staged a staggering comeback to beat AS Roma 4-2 at the Parc OL on Thursday and duly followed suit as they returned to domestic duties at home to Toulouse on Sunday, running out 4-0 winners with Memphis Depay bagging a brace that included his own goal of the season contender, from near the half-way line.
"We are scoring goals and creating chances. The goals we are scoring are extraordinary too and that is also good for the fans. And even if we were a bit lucky, we didn't concede a goal," said Genesio after the spectacular win that kept his side in the driver's seat for a fourth-placed finish. "That is very important going into the match on Thursday against Roma. We are in really great form."
Not so Nice
The weekend didn't work out so well for Lucien Favre's OGC Nice who, despite clinching a 2-2 to stretch their unbeaten run at the Allianz Riviera to 20 matches, dropped two crucial points in the title race and lost star midfielder Wylan Cyprien to a season-ending knee injury.
"We are pleased to come away with the point. When you are 2-0 down at home, it is very complicated," said Favre, typically measured despite his side's now trailing second-placed PSG by two points. "Tonight Wylan Cyprien got injured. We will get a diagnosis at the start of next week, but it looks serious. We will need to find solutions for Nantes [Wk30]. That won't be an easy match."
Thauvin on target as OM roll on
Meanwhile Marseille followed up on their 4-1 hammering of Lorient with an even more impressive 3-0 win over in-form Angers - who were coming of four consecutive Ligue 1 wins - at the Stade Vélodrome on Friday, Florian Thauvin with a sparkling double to take his season tally to a personal-best ten.
The win took OM into fifth place - their highest ranking so far this season - two points clear of Bordeaux and four clear of Saint-Etienne. ASSE managed to stop their slide down the table as talismanic captain Loïc Perrin struck late to clinch a 2-2 draw at home to a feisty Metz side who inched further clear of the drop zone.
EAG claim biggest win of season
EA Guingamp haven't had too much to crow about in 2017 but Antoine Kombouaré's side claimed a fist-pumping 5-0 win over SC Bastia on Saturday, scoring a bevy of fine goals to climb back into the top half at the expense of Rui Almeida's strugglers, who had a player sent off for a record 13th time this season as they crumbled at the Stade du Roudourou.
Nantes had lanky Argentine striker Emiliano Sala to thanks for a late, late 3-2 win in a thriller in Montpellier, while Rony Lopes proved the hero as LOSC claimed a much-needed 2-1 win away to 18th-placed Nancy. Stade Rennais continued to tread water with a division-topping 11th draw of the season (a distinction they share with Saint-Etienne), 1-1 at home to promoted Dijon, who are separated from the bottom three by goal difference alone.