Sunday, October 26, 2008

Ligue 1 Weekend Review

This week's matches had it all: goals galore, penalty kicks, plenty of cards, and a heated competition for the "Goal-scorer to get carded" award. The big result goes to Paris Saint-Germain, who knocked off L'OM and prevented them from going top of the table.

Saturday, October 25th:

Auxerre 0-0 Lyon - Continuing their recent poor run of form (relative to their past performance, at least), Lyon were unable to take more than 1 point from Auxerre. Despite taking 17 shots and having 11 corner kicks to work with, Lyon only managed to put one shot on goal. In the 8th minute, Keita chipped Auxerre GK Riou but the shot hit the crossbar and went over. After that it was all Auxerre, all the time and Lyon GK Vercoutre (filling in for Hugo Lloris who was out with a throat infection) was kept busy. Auxerre's best chance came in the 64th minute, but Jelen hit the post from 12 yards out.

Le Havre 2-1 Valenciennes - With this win, Le Havre move ahead of Valenciennes at the bottom of the table, providing them with some hope of avoiding relegation. Valenciennes opened the scoring in the 1st minute when Bangoura picked off a poor clearance and sent the ball into Pieroni, who sent his bicycle kick into the goal. Lesage equalized in the 24th minute, and Pieroni almost put Valenciennes back on top right before the half. Lesage then continued his good form early in the second half, when he dribbled through the defense and took a scorching shot that bounced in front of Valenciennes GK Penneteau and went in. Pujol almost equalized again for Valenciennes, but his shot hit the crossbar. Minutes later Pujol volleyed a shot for their final chance, but Havre GK Revault made a brilliant save to preserve the 3 points.

Lille 2-2 Caen - Lille outshot Caen 18-8 (5-4 shots on goal) and outfouled them 29-17, but it was not enough for the win. Lille took most of their shots from distance, and the danger came entirely from Cabaye (who hit the crossbar once and placed a second shot inches over the same) and Obraniak (who had a brace on goals in the 9th and 39th minutes). Caen did their work in the second half, with Ben Khalfallah assisting on goals to Seube (46th minute) and Savidan (64th minute). Obraniak almost secured the 3 points in injury time with what would have been his hat-trick goal, but Caen GK Plante made a brilliant save.

Lorient 3-0 Nantes - In a match dominated by Lorient, the latter club got their second win of the season. They started the pressure in the 8th minute with a free-kick from Abriel, followed shortly by a diving header from Cicini which required a great save from Nantes GK Alonso. Abriel also forced Alonso into wonderful saves on 2 shots in quick succession, and he finally broke through in the 31st minute. To complete his day, Abriel assisted on the other 2 goals, to Morel in the 55th minute and Gamerio in the 77th minute.

Nice 2-2 Bordeaux - Bordeaux out-shot and out-fouled Nice, but the clubs could only play to a tie after some strange activity on the pitch. The action was end-to-end, and started with a brilliant free-kick from 30 yards in the 10th minute by Wendel which beat Nice GK Ospina. Cavenaghi continued the pressure, and Ospina made a great save in the 15th minute to avoid going down 2-0. Fae almost equalized for Nice, but his shot was blasted off the crossbar. Bordeaux finally got their second goal in the 58th minute when Placente earned a PK and Cavenaghi calmly stepped up to slot it home. Ospina kept Nice in the game with saves on Olerton and Chamakh in the 70th minute, and Nice pulled 1 goal back in the 84th minute when Mouloungui put in a cracking header. The comeback was complete in injury time when Ducasse was called for a handball in the box and Remy scored on the resulting PK in the 93rd minute. Cavenaghi wins this week's "Goal-scorer to get carded" award due to pulling off the difficult feat of being yellow-carded in the 58th minute, the same minute in which he scored on his PK.

Rennes 2-2 Le Mans - In an extremely even match that saw 5-4 shots on goal, 14-14 fouls, and 8-6 corner kicks, it was only natural that the end result was a draw. Gervinho opened the scoring, putting Le Mans ahead in the 11th minute, but Briand equalized in the 15th minute when he lobbed Le Mans GK Pele. Le Mans then upped the pressure, with Cerdon forcing Rennes GK Douchez into a difficult save in the 26th minute. The pressure paid off in the 34th minute when Mangane was called for a handball in the box and Coutadeur scored on the resulting PK to give Le Mans the lead. Pagis rescued the point for Rennes in the 78th minute when he slotted home an excellent cross from Wiltord.

Toulouse 0-0 Monaco - In yet another boring match starring Monaco, neither club looked as if they wanted to win. Toulouse dominated, but managed as many yellow cards (3) as they did shots on goal. Gignac almost started off the match brilliantly for Toulouse in the 1st minute, hitting a low shot that forced a good save from Ruffier. The Monaco GK was called into action again to stop a free kick that was headed towards goal by Cetto. Nimani provided the best chance for Monaco in the 88th minute, forcing Carrasso into a save. Gignac had a chance to take the 3 points for Toulouse in injury time, but his shot hit the crossbar. Freddy Adu rode the bench for the entire match, looking dejected.

Sunday, October 26th:

Nancy 1-1 Sochaux - In a bit of a snoozer, Nancy and Sochaux (two of the worst teams in Ligue 1) could only draw for 1 point each. Sochaux got on the board first when Dalmat scored in the 18th minute, and it was not until the 74th minute that Nancy was able to equalize through Fortune (not luck. That's the dude's name).

Saint-Etienne 0-2 Grenoble - Ligue 1 newcomers Grenoble got the derby win against Saint-Etienne despite being outshot 16-8 and only having possession in 38% of the match. The first goal came early, when Moreira blasted a shot which deflected off Saint-Etienne defender Benalouane and into the net in the 3rd minute. From that point on, Grenoble GK Wimbee was kepy extremely busy, forced to make saves on Gomis, Gilgiotti and Dernis, as well as an impressive double-save in the 40th minute. Grenoble almost scored their 2nd goal in the 66th minute but Romao crashed his shot off the bar. They eventually got the second when Dja Djedje sent home a well-struck header in the 82nd minute.

Marseille 2-4 Paris Saint-Germain - L'OM dominated the match statistically (24-8 shots on goal; 60%-40% time of possession), much as they have throughout the Ligue 1 history of both teams, but in the end PSG was able to notch only their 5th win ever against Marseille. Once again this match saw goals come early, as Rothen sent a cross off a corner in beautifully to the box and Hoarau headed it home in the 10th minute. Marseille struck back in the 21st minute when PSG GK Mandanda had some miscommunication with his defender and Niang was there for the easy finish. Valbuena then put L'OM ahead right before half-time when Mandanda gave up a rebound after a save on Kone. Soon after the start of the second half, Luvindula equalized for PSG when he chipped Mandanda. Cheyrou almost returned the lead to L'OM in the 70th minute, but he hit the bar, and it was PSG who went ahead in the 77th when Rothen hit a screamer from a 35-yard free-kick that went into the net untouched. Hoarau completed his brace in the 83rd minute to ensure the 3 points.

So, at the end of Matchday 10, the top of the table looks like this: (1) Lyon with 21 points on a 6-3-1 record and a +6 goal differential; (2) Marseille with 19 points on a 5-4-1 record and a +7 goal differential; (3) Le Mans with 18 points on a 5-3-2 record and a +7 goal differential; and (4) Bordeaux with 18 points on a 5-3-2 record and a +4 goal differential.


JT said...

hey how about Liverpool

that was pretty sweet

The NY Kid said...

Liverpool? Never heard of 'em.

JT said...

Just check the Premier League table to the right. You'll see them up there, nope... keep looking higher up

Mike Georger said...

"Los Angeles Galaxy striker Landon Donovan has said that he is interested in a move to the English Premier League or Spain's La Liga in the January transfer window. "

The Premier League and La Liga have said 'no thanks you pussy'

The NY Kid said...

DAMMIT PEOPLE! This post is about French soccer!

Lingering Bursitis said...

sorry :(

But liverpool did something good