Hexagoal Ligue 1 Trophy

Week 2 review: Mbappé takes Paris top, Nîmes stun OM

Publish on 20/08/2018 at 12:30


World Cup-winning superstar Kylian Mbappé came off the bench to score twice in the 3-1 win over Guingamp that took PSG into top spot just as arch-rivals OM were stunned by the same scoreline away to promoted Nîmes.

Barely back from holidays following his key role in France's world Cup win, teenage superstar Kylian Mbappé made a triumphant return to Ligue 1 Conforama as he came off the bench to help Paris Saint-Germain - still minus Edinson Cavani, Marco Verratti and Layvin Kurzawa -out of a bind after they had gone a goal down to Antoine Kombouaré's side.

Hit the ground running

Only VAR had stopped the extremely game home side from going 2-0 up, Nicolas Benezet's strike ruled out for a foul (25'), and while Neymar Jr levelled things with his second of the season, from the spot (53'), it was Mbappé's star turn that saw him spring the off-side trap and finish clinically on two occasions late on (82', 90') to clinch the points and send his side to the top of the table.

"We won, we celebrated, but football continues. My career is starting and I have very high ambitions, be it with PSG, France or individually. You don't have the time to hang around doing nothing," Mbappé said of his emphatic return to Ligue 1 Conforama before addressing what pundits see as his possibly eclipsing a certain Brazilian superstar. "There are a lot of stars. Neymar is a superstar, more than me. He worked a lot at Barcelona for that. With a goal and an assist, he didn't do too badly either. I tried to contribute what I can and help the team win."

No such luck for OM

Meanwhile, PSG's arch-rivals Olympique de Marseille also faced a stiff test away to a much smaller club - promoted Nîmes Olympique - but this time there was no fight-back by the heavy hitters, who lost 'keeper Steve Mandanda to injury (65'). In fact, it was quite the opposite as Les Crocodiles out-ran, out-tackled and ultimately out-scored OM to clinch a dream 3-1 win against their biggest local rivals - in the second match of their promotion season.

"We need to prove that we belong in Ligue 1 Conforama. The points were important but the way we played was even more so. But it doesn't stop here. This win is good for the players as it proves to them what they are capable of," said delighted but still circumspect coach Bernard Blaquart, whose opposite number Rudi Garcia was understandably downbeat. "This was an evening we'd rather forget. We failed. I knew we weren't at 100 per cent but that was just unacceptable. We absolutely have to win our next match."

Reims roll on

The win - Nîmes' second in as many matches following the thrilling 4-3 beating of Angers in Week 1 - took them second, level on six points with fellow promotees Stade de Reims, who kicked the weekend off by stunning Olympique Lyonnais 1-0 thanks to Pablo Chavarria's lone strike (32').

"It was a difficult victory but one that we built towards. We played well in the first half, combining tactical discipline with a desire to hurt the opposition," said Reims coach David Guion. "This confirms our good result at Nice [1-0 in Week 1]. For a promoted side, to have six points out of six is marvellous and so we are savouring this. We know we need to be tactically disciplined. We need to defend well in order to attack well."

Cutting the mustard

So too Dijon made it two from two with a 2-0 win over Miguel Cardoso's FC Nantes, club captain and all-time top-scorer Julio Tavares bagging a brace to put his side third and keep Les Canaris - who lost Abdoulaye Touré to a red card with 12 minutes to go - pointless and propping up the table after two rounds.

After an impressive 3-1 win in Nantes in Week 1, AS Monaco slipped to fifth thanks to their scoreless draw at home to LOSC - captain Radamel Falcao missing a second-half penalty - while RC Strasbourg Alsace also slipped as they conceded a late equaliser to ten-man Saint-Etienne (Neven Subotic saw red in the 18th minute), Makhtar Gueye lashing home with two minutes to go.


Toulouse registered their first win of the season by claiming Garonne derby bragging rights with 2-1 win over Bordeaux, who suspended coach Gustavo Poyet two days before the clash, while Rennes claimed Brittany derby honours 1-0 over Angers thanks to a sublime strike from rising star Ismaila Sarr.

France 98 World Cup winner Patrick Vieira got his first point as a Ligue 1 Conforama coach as his OGC Nice side earned a 1-1 draw away to SM Caen, and Montpellier had superb strikes from Florent Mollet and Ellyes Skhiri to thank for their 2-1 win away to still-pointless Amiens SC.


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