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Week 8 review: PSG in sole control as OL woes continue

Publish on 30/09/2019 at 10h00

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PSG carved out a two-point lead atop the Ligue 1 Conforama standings with an Mbappé/Neymar powered 1-0 win in Bordeaux; OL are in crisis after a 1-0 home loss to Nantes; and there were important wins for Sainté, Monaco and Dijon.

An injury-hit start to the campaign has seen PSG relying on Neymar's goals, and while it was the Brazilian who once again stepped up, hitting a 70th-minute winner in Bordeaux on Saturday, the fact that it was a fit-again Kylian Mbappé who provided the assist did plenty to suggest that Thomas Tuchel and his men may be on the way back to their steam-rolling best.

Neymar: 'Give my life on the field'

"I am here to help PSG and fulfill my role as a player at this club. I'll give my life on the field in order to make PSG successful and so we can celebrate that all together," said Neymar, now with three goals in four appearances this season, before turning his attentions to the mercurial Mbappé. "He is one of the best players in the world and every time he is on the pitch things are easier, with the speed he has. All players like playing with good players. I'm not the only one."

Although the defeat - Bordeaux's first at home this season - saw Les Girondins slip to seventh, coach Paulo Sousa was proud of his side's display.

"Paris are the strongest team in the championship, both collectively and individually," said the Portuguese, who began the season by declaring his side as being in a rebuilding phase. "We defended well, almost perfectly. Paris have players who can make a difference at any moment."

Crisis in Lyon

Meanwhile Lyon, who on paper are best placed to give PSG a run for their money this season, stretched their winless run to an alarming seven matches with a 1-0 defeat at home to Nantes - thanks to an own-goal from Brazilian defender Marçal - that had coach Sylvinho admitting that his side are in dire straits.

"We're in a difficult situation. It's a crisis. We need to work hard to get our confidence back," said the Brazilian who was handed his first stint as a senior-team coach by rookie sporting director Juninho in the summer. "The players are stressed and we're conceding goals. They had two shots on target and scored a one goal. We need to keep working hard every day. I always said the road would be long and difficult. We are finding it very hard."

The win - Les Canaris' second from four trips this season - takes Christian Gourcuff's side to third.

Sainté boost ahead of derby

Sylvinho would certainly have been hoping for better with the first Rhône derby of the season, away to butter rivals Saint-Etienne, looming on Sunday. Even more so considering that Ghislain Printant's side prepared for the big clash by claiming a first win since the opening day of the season, 1-0 in Nîmes, thanks to Mathieu Debuchy.

"Eight points from eight matches is not enough. It is up to the board to take the decisions," said Printant, addressing speculation that his time at the helm is limited with the club sitting in 19th place. "I was fed up with playing all the football, being hit on the counter-attack and paying the price. We did suffer at times and it wasn't the best Saint-Etienne performance. It is not the kind of football I like, but we won. We were in rough shape coming into this game but we played like a team who needed points."

Angers held, Monaco cut loose

High-flying Angers, who take on PSG in a top-of-the-table clash at the Parc des Princes this weekend, hung onto second place but failed to keep pace with the capital club as they were held to a 1-1 home draw by Amiens. Although Colombian Steven Mendoza put the visitors in front, Rachid Alioui hit an absolute screamer from distance - his third in two matches - to earn Stéphane Moulin's side a share of the points.

Monaco continued their revival with a second win in a row, a 4-1 hammering of Brest that took the principality club, winless until Week 7, level with Lyon on nine points. The quality in Leonardo Jardim's squad is finally starting to shine through, with Wissam Ben Yedder and Islam Slimani, Gelson Martins and Keita Baldé all finding the back of the net to make Edouard Mendy's outrageous volley a mere consolation for 18th-placed Brest.

OM held, Reims fall back to earth

Marseille's Croatian defender Duje Ćaleta-Car bagged his first Ligue 1 Conforama goal to cancel out Mbaye Niang's opener and claim André-Villas-Boas' side a share of the points at home to Rennes 1-1 on Sunday evening. The result was enough to take OM, unbeaten since Week 1, to fifth while Rennes climbed to eighth despite being without a win since Week 3.

Reims went from being in top of the world after stunning PSG in mid-week to somewhere well south of there as they fell 2-1 at home to bottom side Dijon. The thrilling match, which saw Reims' Xavier Chavalerin open the scoring with a superb chip, ended up as Dijon's first win of the campaign as strikes from Julio Tavares and Mama Baldé swayed things in the Burgundy club's favour.

Thriller

FC Metz and FC Toulouse also cooked up a thriller, but the points were shared as Ibrahima Niane and Efthymios Koulouris traded second-half injury-time goals to leave it even at 2-2 when the final whistle blew. LOSC and Nice played out a 1-1 draw on the south coast, leaving them fourth and sixth respectively, while Strasbourg had giant striker Ludovic Ajorque to thank for a 1-0 home win over Montpellier.

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