Round 32 review: Top four win as Lens firm for Europe

Publish on 12/04/2021 at 10:00 - S. WILLIS


It's as you were at the top of the Ligue 1 Uber Eats table after PSG, Monaco, Lyon and three-point leaders LOSC all registered wins in Round 32. Meanwhile promoted Lens clinched their fifth win in an unbeaten run of 11 matches to maintain control of fifth place, just ahead of OM.

Ligue 1 Uber Eats leaders LOSC opened Round 32 away to Metz and - although it wasn't plain sailing for Christophe Galtier's men - Les Dogues managed to open up a provisional six-point lead over second-placed Paris Saint-Germain and make mathematically sure of a European finish thanks to the Turkish contingent of striker Burak Yilmaz and right-back Zeki Celik.

Dogues not counting chickens

"We suffered a lot," said Galtier after the match that saw his side only manage to put their stamp on it in the final 30 minutes, after 'keeper Mike Maignan saved an Aaron Leya Iseka penalty win the first half. "We were up against a very good Metz team. It took a decisive Mike save to keep us in the game. If we'd gone behind it would've been harder. The title? It's still far away. And after the games on Saturday and Sunday, it'll still be a long way off. Tonight, we made sure of Europe, our objective has been reached. We'll now fight for the podium."

Poch praise for Mbappé

Paris Saint-Germain, fresh from their stunning 3-2 UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg win away to Bayern Munich, were quick to cut Lille's lead back to three points in Strasbourg on Saturday afternoon. Kylian Mbappé rode his form and took his league-leading season goal tally to 21 as the capital club ran out comfortable 4-1 winners.

"I like his attitude," said PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino of his precocious superstar, who  played all but two minutes of the big win despite the return leg against Bayern looming on Tuesday. "He's determined to play in every competition. That proves his commitment to the team, regardless of what it is or the game. You have to give credit to that attitude, to his professional commitment to the whole of French football. He's an excellent player, but above all a great and very humble guy."

Star men fire as Monaco, Lyon do the job

So too Monaco notched a comfortable win, 3-0 at home to Dijon, Wissam Ben Yedder coming off the bench to bag his 16th and 17th of the season in what could have been a hat-trick performance had Saturnin Allagbe not parried his first penalty into the path of Stevan Jovetic. This 12th consecutive defeat sees bottom side Dijon claim an unenviable Ligue 1 Uber Eats record for losses on the bounce and the Mustard Men now look more than ever favourites to drop down to the second tier next season.

After stalling in the past few weeks - and being taken to penalties in their Coupe de France win over Red Star - Lyon roared back into Ligue 1 Uber Eats action with a star turn from captain Memphis Depay in their 3-0 win at home to Angers on Sunday night.

Europe beckons for Haise's Lens

Meanwhile RC Lens took another step towards European qualification as they continued their memorable promotion campaign with a 4-1 beating of fellow Ligue 1 Uber Eats returnees Lorient.

"We were clinical today, otherwise we wouldn't have scored four goals!" said Lens boss Franck Haise as he carefully avoided admitting to any ambitions of qualifying for Europe. "We are capable of showing different aspects in our game; we're not just about attack, otherwise we wouldn't be fifth after 32 matches. It's the fruit of hard work and confidence. The players have gained confidence individually and collectively. We have every reason to be satisfied."

Gunfight at Le Mosson

There were fireworks at the Stade de la Mosson as Montpellier and Marseille traded blows in a six-goal thriller, Arkadiusz Milik scoring a superb goal for the visitors while Gaëtan Laborde capped a double with a last-gasp equaliser to make it 3-3 at the final whistle.

OM and Montpellier now sit sixth and eighth respectively, bookending a resurgent Rennes, who came out on top in their Brittany derby against Nantes 1-0 thanks to an unbelievable curling, dipping effort from in-form forward Martin Terrier.

Khazri sinks Les Girondins

A 1-1 draw at home to Reims was enough for Nice, now undefeated in six, to climb to ninth, while Saint-Etienne propelled themselves to 13th, nine points clear of the drop, thanks to Wahbi Khazri's hat-trick in a 4-1 win over Bordeaux that left Les Girondins in 15th and much closer to the red zone that they would like.

Finally, in what could have been a relegation six-pointer, 16th-placed Brest and 18th-placed Nîmes shared the points 1-1 in a result that did little for either side's hopes of putting space between them and the danger zone.

>> League tables

>> Scorers chart

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