Sunday, August 31, 2008

Ligue 1 Weekend Review

Matchday 4 saw plenty of scoring in Ligue 1, with only one match ending in a nil-nil tie. Although most of the results were somewhat predictable when looking at the big-name clubs, there were some minor surprises. Join me after the jump as we start with the Caen-PSG tilt and work our way through the weekend.

Saturday, August 30:

Caen 0-1 Paris Saint-Germain - Guillaume (now there's a good french name!) Hoarau scored in the 5th minute of the match as PSG spent the majority of both halves bossing Caen all over the pitch. The assist came from Jerome Rothen, who also forced Caen GK Plante into a beautiful save 10 minutes later. Hoarou should have scored his second goal after some fine play from Sessegnon to Giuly, whose cross to Hoarou resulted in nothing despite the latter sitting only five yards out. Caen forced Landreau into only 2 saves during the entire game. As a bonus for PSG, Claude Makelele picked up his 3rd yellow card in his 3rd straight match in the 75th minute.

Grenoble 1-0 Monaco - Another early goal in this match, as Daniel Moreira scored in the 19th minute to continue Grenoble's early-season success. After seeing forward Jeremy Menez depart to Roma, Monaco looked completely listless in this match, although they almost equalized with little time remaining, forcing Grenoble GK Wimbee to make 2 successive saves. Freddy Adu was brought on at the 82nd minute for Monaco, but didn't have enough time to make any significant impact.

Lorient 0-2 Auxerre - Auxerre got goals in the middle of both halves to secure their first victory in 3 games and make significant process up the Ligue 1 table. However, Lorient looked to be the more dangerous team, putting shots over the bar early in the match and twice hitting the crossbar. In the end, goals from Jelen (34th minute) and Pedretti (73rd minute) were more than enough to gain the 3 points. The match also got quite chippy in the second half, with 5 yellow cards handed out (2 to Lorient, 3 to Auxerre).

Nancy 2-1 Le Havre - A first-half goal by Cedric Faure (22nd minute) gave Le Havre an early lead, which they protected for the majority of the match. However, Nancy dominated the possession and took almost twice as many shots on goal. 2 of those late shots resulted in goals from Brison (71st minute) and Luiz (87th minute) to give Nancy the win.

Nantes 1-4 Le Mans - Nantes manager Michel der Zakarian left the club Tuesday after just 1 point and a -6 goal differential from their first 3 matches, leaving interim manager Christian Lariepe to deal with the streaking Le Mans. Guirane N'Daw gave the beleaugered substitute boss something to cheer about when he put Nantes in front in the 21st minute. The joy was short-lived, as Thorstein Helstad equalized just 2 minutes later. Le Mans went ahead in first-hald injury time when Maiga struck, and the rout was on as Le Mans dominated the second half. 2 more goals came in the form of Coutadeur (84th minute) and Gervinho (90th minute, on a beautiful feed from Le Tallec). In order to continue our preferred theme of goal-scorers receiving cards, Nantes hero N'Daw was booked in the 80th minute.

Nice 2-0 Valenciennes - Despite their opponents played with only 10 men for over an hour, Nice was not able to put the match away until the second half. Valenciennes defender Siaka Tiene was shown a straight red card for a deliberate handball in the box, but they escaped (briefly) as Loic Remy missed the resulting penalty kick, sending it over the crossbar. Valenciennes looked to be the more dangerous side for the remainder of the half, getting off several shots on goal. The second half, however, was a different story as Nice got an early goal from Bamogo in the 52nd minute. Remy locked up the 3 points and made up for his PK miss by slotting home a shot in the 86th minute. This match also featured 5 yellow cards, with 3 to Nice and 2 to Valenciennes.

Marseille 2-1 Sochaux - L'OM got some outstanding play from GK Mandanda and survived an incorrectly-awarded goal to remain at the top of the Ligue 1 table for another week. Marseille dominated the possession and got goals on either side of half-time with a Karim Ziani strike in the 39th minute and a Bakari Kone goal in the 61st minute. Mevlut Erding put the ball in the net for Sochaux in the 73rd minute, and the goal was allowed to stand despite the fact that he was clearly offsides. Sochaux continued to pressure Marseille, forcing Mandanda into brilliant saves in the 84th and 89th minutes, as well as in stoppage time.

Sunday, August 31st:

Toulouse 0-0 Rennes - Despite the nil-nil result, this match was quite exciting for both sides. The stars of the match were clearly GKs Cedric Carrasso (Toulouse) and Nicolas Douchez (Rennes). Although only called upon to make 4 (Carrasso) and 3 (Douchez) saves, those made were of the highest quality. Both sides had quality chances developed through some excellent midfield play, but both went begging, leaving them on 5 points from their first 4 matches.

Lilles 2-1 Bordeaux - Laurent Blanc's Bordeaux side began the match well, with Fernando Cavenaghi striking an incredible ball under the crossbar. However, despite dominanting the time of possession, Bordeaux had fewer shots on goal and fewer spot kicks than Lilles, who eventually capitalized. Only 4 minutes after going down 1-0, Lilles equalized when Bastos struck off the post. The remainder of the match saw good opportunities from both sides, but it was Lilles who struck again in the 75th minute when Obraniak bulged the back of the net with a shot from some distance. The match was also quite chippy, with 3 yellow cards awarded to each club, with one of those given to goal-scorer Obraniak.

Lyon 1-0 St. Etienne - Lyon set the pace early in the match by winning a corner in the 1st minute, and kept up the pressure for the remainder of the first half, as Makoun, Govou and Juninho peppered the goal of St. Etienne GK Viviani. Towards the end of the first half, Karim Benzema began to step up his play and take control on the pitch. This continued into the second half, with Benzema finally breaking through in the 56th minute with a brilliant strike from just outside the box. Over the remaining minutes Lyon continued the attack through Ederson and Toulalan, while Bafetimbi Gomis attempted to get St. Etienne on track, but the match ended 1-0.

So, at the end of Matchday 4, the top of the table looks like this: (1) Olympique de Marseille / Olympique Lyonnais, both at 10 points on a 3-1-0 record and a +6 goal differential; (3) Le Mans, at 9 points on a 3-0-1 record and a +5 goal differential; and (4) Nice, at 9 points on a 3-0-1 record and a +3 goal differential.

Sochaux and Nantes, on 1 point each from 4 matches, look to be in trouble.


Mike Georger said...

awww its a psg baby carriage, no doubt with a douchebag racist baby in it

The NY Kid said...

Only some of our fans are racist, thank you very much.

Andrew said...

is there a good place to watch "ligue un" on the intertron?

and NY Kid, these are better than what I can read on soccernet/skysports/etc/

Racist babies? Paris?

The NY Kid said...

Andrew - glad you enjoy them. You can usually find Ligue 1 matches on LiveFooty, or