Week 13 review: Perfect PSG maul Monaco; Depay day for OL
PSG moved 13 points clear atop the table as Edinson Cavani starred in the 4-0 hammering of an injury-hit Monaco side, while Memphis Depay brought the fireworks as Lyon beat Dijon 4-2 to go fourth.
Injuries have kept Edinson Cavani relatively quiet this season, the Uruguayan scoring 'only' five goals in his first seven outings, but in Monaco on Sunday night the fit-again striker bagged his first since Week 7… and then a second and a third as Paris Saint-Germain stretched their record-breaking start to the season to 13 Ligue 1 Conforama victories.
"It's always great to score. We strikers live for that, for scoring. It's very important for the confidence," said the club's record goal scorer, just back from the hamstring strain that kept him out of the Classique. "Every player goes through ups and downs. You just need to stay focused and score for the team. Things change eventually."
Meanwhile Monaco boss Thierry Henry - still winless at the club after taking over Leonardo Jardim in mid-October - was staying positive despite the heavy 4-0 scoreline, the club's precarious position near the foot of the table (19th) and the growing injury list in his squad.
"We knew it would be tough against Paris. There was a big difference in quality and assurance between the two teams tonight," said Henry, who had no fewer than 15 players unavailable through injury for the capital club's visit. "We lost another two players to injury tonight [Nacer Chadli and Jordi Mboula], and it's starting to get out of hand. I will see with the league as to whether we can make any new signings on medical grounds. But we have to stay positive and work hard. We're battling to beat the drop; that's our only objective."
After letting a two-goal lead slip in their 2-2 UEFA Champions League draw with Hoffenheim in mid-week, Olympique Lyonnais roared back to life with a 4-2 win in Guingamp that owed everything to the brilliance of Netherlands international Memphis Depay, who starred with two stunning goals and two assists.
"Memphis Depay played a great game. His match against Hoffenheim was encouraging in terms of his attitude and desire to help the team," said coach Bruno Genesio, whose side climbed to within a point of the top three with the handy win over a Guingamp side coached by reserve boss Sylvain Didot ahead of Jocelyn Gourvennec's return to the club this week. "Tonight he got his reward and that's often the case when you're generous in your efforts and looking to help the team."
LOSC held, Angers stump Montpellier
LOSC were looking to snap a two-match losing streak in all competitions as they played host to feisty Strasbourg, but Christophe Galtier's Dogues were effectively muzzled in a 0-0 draw. However, the point was enough to move them one clear of third-placed Montpellier, who fell to their first league defeat since the opening day of the season 1-0 in Angers, Romain Thomas' header clinching a first win for Stéphane Moulin's side since Week 7.
"As we won, I am happy. This one feels special," said the Angers boss, whose side climbed two spots to 13th with the welcome win. "They'd gone 11 league games unbeaten and this is a little feat. We needed it."
Les Verts, OM on track
Saint-Etienne had Mathieu Debuchy to thank for launching their 2-0 win over Reims, the former Arsenal man bagging his second in as many matches before club top scorer Wahbi Khazri (six goals) clinched the result. Les Verts remain fifth, just a point behind bitter rivals Lyon as they head into the first Rhône derby of the season on the other side of the international break.
Marseille have endured a tough few weeks, with four consecutive defeats in the league and UEFA Europa League, but Rudi Garcia's men bounced back at home to Dijon on Sunday, Lucas Ocampos and Adil Rami getting the goals in the 2-0 win that kept the club sixth, just three points shy of the podium.
Stade Rennais managed to put the brakes on FC Nantes' four-match win streak under new boss Vahid Halilhodzic, but they couldn't stop man of the moment Emiliano Sala from scoring his seventh in four matches and clinching a 1-1 draw at Roazhon Park.
Drama on the Mediterranean
OGC Nice boss Patrick Vieira had youngster Youcef Atal to thank for a 1-0 win in a hot-tempered encounter away to south-coast derby rivals Nîmes that saw the hosts - who missed a penalty early - end the match with just nine men after red cards for Faitout Maouassa (20') and Loïck Landre (45'+2).
Amiens SC scored their first away win of the season 1-0 in Toulouse, Alexis Blin's lone strike moving them up to 16th, two points clear of the drop, while SM Caen and Bordeaux drew 0-0 in Normandy.