Week 15 review: PSG drop first points, Montpellier bounce back
By S. Willis
PSG's flawless start to the season ended at 14 wins when they were held to a 2-2 draw by Bordeaux; Montpellier surged back into second with a 2-1 win in Monaco after LOSC and OL cancelled each other out 2-2.
Reigning Ligue 1 Conforama champions Paris Saint-Germain remain undefeated this season but, after twice allowing Bordeaux to level matters, their record-breaking run of wins in their first 14 matches this season came to an end at the MATMUT Atlantique on Sunday night.
Silva: 'Move forward'
"We could have won this evening, but it was a little difficult for our bodies after the sort of game we had against Liverpool on Wednesday," explained captain Thiago Silva, who was outmuscled by Danish international Andreas Cornelius for the goal that made it 2-2. "But it was a good match, a lot of goals, and the fans must have enjoyed the show. Of course I'm not happy to have conceded two goals, but that's football. Our series of wins has come to an end, but we have to move forward and keep working."
PSG coach Thomas Tuchel now turns his attention to Wednesday night's trip to in-form Strasbourg, for which he could well be without Neymar Jr, who hobbled off the pitch just before the hour-mark with a suspected recurrence of the groin strain he picked up during the international break.
MHSC take advantage
The result sees Paris' lead cut from 15 to 14 points as jockeying for second placed continued, with Montpellier coming out on top thanks to a 2-1 win in Monaco. A Youri Tielemans strike had the principality club on track for a first home win of the season, but two goals in the last ten minutes saw Montpellier sweep to victory.
"I don't know if it's a victory for tactics. We played very badly in the first half. We weren't at the races, and we were fortunate not to go in at half-time having conceded two or three. We went to four at the back at half-time, and those who came off the bench played well," explained MHSC boss Michel Der Zakarian. "We monopolised possession, and the second goal was fully deserved."
Rémy hits straps in four-goal thriller
This was perfect timing for MHSC as their direct rivals LOSC and OL cancelled each other out in a thrilling 2-2 draw. Lyon old boy Loïc Rémy hit his first Ligue 1 Conforama goal in six years and set up another for golden boy Nicolas Pépé but Bertrand Traoré matched him with a goal and an assist for Moussa Dembélé in a second-half fight-back.
"We can be frustrated given we were two goals up, but the game could have gone Lyon's way in the first 15 minutes. In the end, I'm happy with the draw, all the more so as I liked what my team did and the players' determination," said LOSC boss Christophe Galtier, while his opposite number Bruno Genesio was also upbeat. "They're a really tough team to face and a direct rival for us, so it's a very positive game for us in terms of the result and how we played. We've played well in recent games, now we must, keep focussed, prepare well and not slacken off."
OM held, Strasbourg cut loose
Meanwhile Marseille were denied a third-straight league win by a superb performance from Stade de Reims 'keeper Edouard Mendy, whose saves ensured a 0-0 draw at the Orange Vélodrome, while Saint-Etienne produced a stunning late surge - which featured a flabbergasting free-kick from Wahbi Khazri - to trump Nantes 3-0 and go sixth.
While it seems that Les Canaris' resurgence under new boss Vahid Halilhodzic might have run its course - they are winless in three - Strasbourg struck a blowie the opposite direction as they came from behind to hammer Rennes 4-1 at Roazhon Park, a result that cost Sabri Lamouchi his job as the Brittany club's head coach.
Nice falter, Nîmes go top ten
Patrick Vieira's OGC Nice may well have expected to stretch their winning run to five matches as they travelled to Guingamp's Stade du Roudourou, but they had to make do with a 0-0 draw instead as the home side broke a three-match skid in new boss Jocelyn Gourvennec's second match in charge.
Nîmes Olympique broke into the top half of the table for the first time Week 6 as a Rachid Alioui double contributed to a 3-0 win over Amiens - their third victory in a row in all competitions - that saw the visitors slip back in to the bottom three (18th).
Stunning strike from Gradel
Toulouse turned in an heroic performance to draw 2-2 at home to Dijon despite having 'keeper Baptiste Reynet - a former Dijon player - sent off for a dangerous tackle just five minutes in. Toulouse captain Max-Alain Gradel's goal of the season contender was icing on the cake.
Finally, Angers and Caen played out a 1-1 stalemate that did little for either side's hopes of distancing themselves from the relegation zone.