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Week 4 review: PSG back on top

Publish on 01/09/2019 at 13:20

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With Rennes losing their unbeaten record 2-1 at home to Nice, goal difference was enough to put reigning champs PSG back on top of the standings after a 2-0 win in Metz. Meanwhile OM maintained their 40-year home hoodoo over Saint-Etienne.

Although speculation concerning Neymar Jr and Barcelona has been stealing the headlines in the closing stages of the summer transfer window, Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel has had plenty of other things on his mind - like how to deal with the concurrent injuries to his other star forwards, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappé, as big matches against Real Madrid and Lyon loom.

Balance

And, away to Metz, Tuchel found a balance between youth and experience that, with a penalty from Angel Di Maria and a third goal in two matches from Choupo-Moting, got the job done 2-0 to leave the capital club in a familiar position - atop the Ligue 1 Conforama table.

"The team put in a good effort. It wasn't a brilliant performance, but it was a serious one. It's true that we lacked attacking quality in order to create more chances for ourselves," said Tuchel, who handed first senior-team starts to young midfielder Adil Aouchiche and 'keeper Marcin Bulka. "It was important to keep winning and that was our third clean sheet in four games. We never lost our organization and Idrissa Gueye brings us something special in that department."

Nice going

Meanwhile Rennes had their perfect record taken from them in dramatic fashion as Racine Coly struck in stoppage time to clinch OGC Nice a 2-1 win at Roazhon Park.

"We didn't deserve to be behind at half-time because they were only dangerous from set pieces. We had a good game against a team who have been playing very well this season. We showed a lot of character," said Nice boss Patrick Vieira, whose side conceded an own-goal before coming back to win, with fit-again Algeria right-back Youcef Atal proving crucial - playing in a central midfield role. "Youcef gives us penetration. It was important to have him back. When he's at that level he's a very interesting player for us." 

Rennes boss Julien Stéphan is, despite the defeat, still pleased with how his side has started the season.

"Nine points out of a possible 12 is still very good," he declared. "We played two strong teams away from home in Montpellier and Strasbourg, we beat PSG, and we had a hiccup today."

Angers, who round out the top four, all of whom have nine point from four matches, continued their strong start with a 2-0 beating of Dijon that came courtesy of a Glody Ngonda own-goal and a second goal in as many matches from Farid Al-Melali.

Sylvinho: 'Ups and downs'

Lyon saw themselves pushed out of the top spots as, a man down after Thiago Mendes saw red (62'), they could only manage a 1-1 draw at home to Bordeaux, with OL old boy Jimmy Briand beat Anthony Lopes to cancel out Memphis Depay's superb opener.

"I am sad because we had the lead and we ended up having to fight to not lose the match. It's two more points dropped and that is what makes me sad. The problem is the sendings-off, which are making us drop points and the difficulties we are having when it comes to killing the match," said OL boss Sylvinho, who saw Youssouf Koné sent off in the Week 3 defeat to Montpellier. "When you start to build you can expect ups and downs. We need to partly change our mentality, establish our superiority, have more conviction, and not drop points."

Benedetto on point

Olympique de Marseille kept an incredible run of 40 years without defeat at home to Saint-Etienne going on Sunday night, Argentine striker Dario Benedetto clinching the 1-0 win with his first strike in front of the Orange Vélodrome faithful.

Screamers

Nîmes gave promoted Brest plenty to think about with a 3-0 hiding at the Stade des Costières - match that featured some sublime strikes - and Monaco showed signs of emerging from their slump as new striker Islam Slimani struck two superb goals in a spirited 2-2 draw in Strasbourg.

Stade de Reims pulled off one of the upsets of the round with a 2-0 triumph at home to LOSC - who had Turkey playmaker Yousouf Yazici sent off early in the second half - that took them to sixth, while LOSC slip to tenth place.

Nantes continued their run of form, making it two wins in a row and three without defeat by toppling Montpellier 1-0 thanks to a fine strike from Abdoulaye Touré while Toulouse pushed into the top ten with a 2-0 win over Amiens.