Round 31 review: LOSC back on top after top-four reshuffle

Publish on 05/04/2021 at 10:00 - S. WILLIS


Les Dogues returned to the top of the Ligue 1 Uber Eats standings in Round 31 as they trumped PSG 1-0, while Monaco's 4-0 beating of Metz saw them leapfrog Lyon, who could only draw 1-1 in Lens, into third. With just five points separating the top four, it promises to be a dramatic run-in!

Christophe Galtier's LOSC struck a huge blow in the title race on Saturday as they pulled off a smash and grab in the capital, Canada star Jonathan David scoring the only goal of what could prove a decisive win for the 2011 Ligue 1 Uber Eats champions.

Galtier: 'We're in the fight'

"I am very proud of my players, this victory belongs to them," said Galtier after seeing his side go three points clear at the top. "We're in top spot, but I'll leave the comments to you [the media]. We are in the battle, but so are Lyon, Paris and Monaco. The gap is small. We'll have to show the same commitment against Metz and Montpellier. But we are in the fight."

Pochettino: 'We deserved more'

It was a tough result for PSG four days out from their crunch UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg away to Bayern Munich, especially as their attacking stars Kylian Mbappé and a fit-again Neymar - who was sent off close to the end - were unable to capitalise on the home side's dominance and unlock LOSC's determined defence.

"I think we deserved more - at least a point or even three. We created more than them but not enough and maybe we showed a lack of aggression in the final third," said PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino after this third home defeat in a row - a first for Paris since 2007. "It's going to be difficult. We knew very well that it was going to be tough until the end and of course we need to keep going and think of every competition. We've got the Champions League coming up so now we'll focus on that."

Fabregas: 'Europe next season'

Meanwhile, with Lyon only managing to rescue a point in Lens when Lucas Paqueta produced a deft shot on the turn to cancel out Jonathan Clauss's opener, Monaco's 4-0 win at home to Metz - which featured a double from France striker Wissam Ben Yedder - was enough to see Niko Kovac's side overtake Les Gones and claim third.

"The club's objective is to be in Europe next season," said Monaco midfielder Cesc Fabregas, who struck from the spot in his first start since November. "We'll see where we are in the standings in the final sprint to see if we can aim higher. But we can't talk about the title or the Champions League yet!"

OM firm in European race

Meanwhile Marseille managed to cut the gap behind fifth-placed Lens to just one point as they returned to winning ways against bottom side Dijon - who with this 11th-straight defeat look all but relegated - Leonardo Balerdi and an own-goal from Bruno Ecuele Manga sealing a 2-0 win.

Guirassy, Mavididi, Dolberg on target

Rennes had striker Serhou Guirassy's double to thank for their claiming a point in a see-sawing 2-2 draw in Reims, while Montpellier's Englishman Stephy Mavididi confirmed his red-hot run of form with a fifth strike in six outings even though La Paillade conceded a late equaliser to hosts Angers in their 1-1 draw.

Nice clawed their way back into the top half of the table for the first time since September as a double from Kasper Dolberg - who hadn't scored since late October - proved enough to get the better of Nantes, who remain stuck in 19th, 2-1.

Strasbourg got back to winning ways after a two-match drought, beating Bordeaux 3-2 at the Matmut Atlantique as Ludovic Ajorque's penalty proved the winner despite Ui-Jo Hwang's replying from the spot on the stroke of half-time.

Green with envy!

Saint-Etienne gave an all-too rare glimpse of their quality as Wahbi Khazri and Denis Bouanga conjured two of the best strikes of the round to see off 18th-placed Nîmes 2-0, moving seven points clear of the drop in the process, while Brest dropped to 16th after losing 1-0 away to 17th-placed Lorient.

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