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Week 21 review: PSG run riot as OL take derby honours

Publish on 21/01/2019 at 00:00 - S. WILLIS

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PSG's world-class strike force exacted 9-0 revenge on Coupe de la Ligue nemesis Guingamp, with hat-tricks for Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappé, while Lyon claimed a dramatic late 2-1 win over ASSE in the Rhône derby.

EA Guingamp stunned French football's dominant force by derailing their title at a sixth-straight Coupe de la Ligue title with a shock 2-1 quarter-final win in early January. PSG's response? A merciless 9-0 demolition - Paris' biggest-ever home league win, eclipsing last season's 8-0 hammering of Dijon.

MCN on point

Edinson Cavani starred with a hat-trick and two assists, while Kylian Mbappé also got a match ball and the influential Neymar Jr got two goals of his own to make sure that the capital club's MCN trio occupy the top three places on the Ligue 1 Conforama scoring charts - in that order. Thomas Meunier rounding out the scoring late in the piece. 

"I don't think I've ever seen that before, 9-0 in a league match. We played with a lot of quality and got better as the game went on. We kept it simple and were fast and efficient. It was important to play like that. It was a complete performance," said coach Thomas Tuchel - whose side remain unbeaten in the league this season - before turning to the one back spot on the evening, an ankle injury to Marco Verratti that has him in doubt to face Manchester United. "I'm very sad. We already needed to strengthen in that area but his injury changes everything. I think it's serious. It's possible that he'll be out for a few weeks. He's in hospital right now and we can't say more for the moment."

Dembélé's derby devastator

The weekend's main attraction, however, was Sunday evening's Rhône derby in Saint-Etienne, and it did not disappoint, yielding a derby-record 39 shots (16 on target) - the last of which was Moussa Dembélé's pin-point header that swayed the result OL's way in the dying seconds!

"I'm very happy, and proud of my players. I said in the pre-match talk that our biggest opponent would be ourselves, and the players really stepped up," said OL boss Bruno Genesio, whose side will draw confidence from the come-from-behind win as their UEFA Champions League tie with Barcelona looms. "Tonight, there was more emotion than when we beat them 5-0 [in Week 12 last season]."

Opposite number Jean-Louis Gasset, whose side conceded third place to their opponents on the night did his best to remain positive: "To lose the derby in the final seconds is really tough. It's frustrating; we deserved a draw. I'll congratulate my players on Monday - we mixed it with a side built for Champions League football. The season isn't over."

Still a threat

Second-placed LOSC managed to remain three points of OL, however, maintaining their 'best of the rest' tag with a 2-1 come-from-behind win over Amiens that saw golden boy Nicolas Pépé miss a penalty before providing the assist for Rafael Leao's fourth in as many matches. Xeka hit the winner five minutes from time.

"We can't say [Nicolas Pepe] had his best match nor that it was his worst. It wasn't his best day, but Nicolas not on his best day is still a threat," said Les Dogues boss Christophe Galtier. "It was tough, we had to dig deep, we had to go out and look for the win. That meant working carefully on our transitions and crosses. It's already an improvement because we won."

Finally!!!

Meanwhile struggling Olympique de Marseille broke their nine-match winless run in all competitions with a 1-0 win away to ten-man Caen, Morgan Sanson giving embattled coach Rudi Garcia - who had opted to leave captain Dimitri Payet on the bench - something to smile about.

"We finally got a result which our performances have deserved. It may not be the best match we've ever played but we had to adapt to a very physical Caen team," said the OM boss. "But we could have managed the game better and gone for a second goal."

Hammer time

In-form Strasbourg claimed what on most other weekends would have been the round's biggest win as they travelled to beleaguered Monaco. Withy newly signed defender Naldo seeing red on seven minutes, Strasbourg - who in turn had Stefan Mitrovic sent off (69') - put a 5-1 beating on Thierry Henry's side to climb to fifth, with Ludovic Ajorque claiming two goals and an assist. Monaco remain three points shy of safety.

Narrow margins

Montpellier and Rennes' European dreams weren't helped by their playing out a 0-0 draw that saw the Brittany side go two matches without a win for the first time under new boss Julien Stéphan, while Nice snatched a point with one of the latest equalisers ever as Rémi Walter struck from the spot a full nine minutes into stoppage time following a lengthy VAR consultation.

Toulouse got back to winning ways with a 1-0 victory in Nîmes while Angers handed Nantes a third-straight defeat by the same scoreline and Bordeaux had Andreas Cornelius to thank for their commensurate win at home to Dijon.