Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ligue 1 Mid-Week Review

Matchday 35 in Ligue 1 was pushed to mid-week due to the Coupe de France finals this past weekend, with 1 match on Tuesday and the rest on Wednesday. Apparently some of the players were upset at missing out on Salma Hayek, because these matches featured quite a few cards and many goals scored in anger. The result of the week goes to Sochaux-Montbeliard, who destroyed Monaco 3-0 to move out of the drop zone.

Tuesday, May 12th:

Lyon 3-0 Nantes - Lyon started early in this match, with a Juninho cross headed by Ederson to Makoun, who scored with a header of his own, in the 7th minute. In the 14th minute another Juninho cross was headed by Cris, but Nantes GK Alonzo was up to the task. A few minutes later the ever-dangerous Juninho lashed a free-kick that Alonzo did well to stop. The 2nd goal came in the 34th minute after some excellent work from Delgado, Benzema and Juninho, who set up Makoun for his brace with an easy tap-in. Nantes had their only shot in the 50th minute, with a Moullec volley going just wide. The final goal came in the 79th minute when Kallstrom sent in a cross for Mounier to finish off with a header.

Wednesday, May 13th:

Auxerre 2-0 Grenoble - Auxerre dominated this match from the beginning, allowing Grenoble only 3 shots (with only 1 of those on goal). In the 5th minute Jelen went down in the box after contact from Grenoble GK Wimbee and was awarded a YC for simulation amid calls for a PK. In the 10th minute a corner from Pedretti was sent just wide by Chafni. The goal finally came in the 37th minute when a shot from Pedretti was pushed out by Wimbee, but only as far as Jelen for the finish (cementing his GSTGC award for the week). Just 2 minutes later Jelen was easily in on goal, but he passed to Chafni who hit the post. Grenoble got their lone shot in the 60th minute when El Moubarak was stopped 1-on-1 by Auxerre GK Sorin. Jelen completed his brace in the 74th minute when Pedretti split the defense and sent the pass through, which he completed with a lob of Wimbee.

Le Havre 2-4 Saint-Etienne - The former Ligue 1 power got a vital win to stave off relegation against Le Havre, who confirmed their own relegation with the loss. Saint-Etienne opened the scoring through Ilan, who was left unmarked in front of goal in the 4th minute. Le Havre responded in the 12th minute when Diallo sent home a corner from Noro. They then took the lead in the 18th minute after some miscommunication between Saint-Etienne GK Janot and his defender Bayal left Sambou to easily send home his header. Le Havre should have gone up by 2 goals in the 35th minute when Diallo was in alone on goal, but he put his shot straight at Janot. Bayal made up for his earlier defensive miscue in the 47th minute by heading home a corner from Payet for the equalizer. Saint-Etienne then should have taken the lead in the 60th minute when Gigliotti lobbed Le Havre GK Placide, but his shot was cleared off the line by Baca. The lead did come in the 69th minute, when Mirallas hit a stunning strike from 40 yards past a flat-footed Placide. The final goal came in the 92nd minute when substitute Riviere beat Placide to a long pass.

Le Mans 0-1 Paris Saint-Germain - In a closely contested match that saw few fouls and an equal number of shots on goal for each club, it was PSG who took the 3 points after holding on to an early lead. Despite playing without leading scorers Hoarau and Giuly, PSG got their goal in the 18th minute when Kezman finished off a cross from Sessegnon. In the 31st minute Rothen was stopped by Le Mans GK Pele, who also stopped Luyindula in the 53rd minute. Just 2 minutes later a Coutadeur free-kick was headed barely wide by Lamah, and in the 65th minute Cerdan had his shot tipped over the crossbar by PSG GK Landreau. Kezman could have had a brace in the 77th minute, but Pele was once again able to tip the shot wide. The match ended in a bit of controversy as there was a collision between Le Mans forward Helstad and PSG defender Ceara with no PK given in the 85th minute.

Nancy 2-2 Lorient - Despite being thoroughly outclassed, Nancy managed a draw thanks to a defensive gaffe. The 1st goal of the match was an OG from Lorient defender Saifi, as he inadvertently headed a cross into his own net in the 27th minute. Nancy were put on the back foot, however, in the 35th minute when Ouaddou received a straight RC for a bad tackle on Gameiro. This didn't seem to faze his teammates, as Sami scored on a bicycle kick in the 48th minute to take a 2-0 lead. The afore-mentioned Gameiro had the last laught, beating Nancy GK Gregorini 1-on-1 in the 53rd minute and completing his brace in the 82nd minute after Obertan had hit the post.

Nice 0-2 Marseille - Marseille got their 5th win in 6 matches to stay atop the Ligue 1 table despite only taking 2 corner kicks to 8 from Nice. In the 17th minute a nasty ben Saada free-kick was stopped by Marseille GK Mandanda, and Niang made them pay in the 26th minute by dribbling around 3 defenders and finishing easily. In the 30th minute ben Saada forced another save from Mandanda on a free-kick. Marseille got the final goal in the 60th minute on a quick counter-attack started by Mandanda and finished with a pass from Taiwo that was headed home by Brandao.

Rennes 1-0 Caen - Caen looked listless in this match, and if not for GK Plante the final scoreline would have been much worse. In the 17th minute ben Khalfallah had their best chance, hitting the crossbar. In the 22nd minute Asamoah forced a save from Plante, as did a volley from Pagis in the 27th minute. After the restart Deroin had the only remaining chance for Caen, but he was stopped by Rennes GK Douchez. The goal came in the 60th minute when Hansson headed home a cross from Mareveaux.

Sochaux 3-0 Monaco - Sochaux came out playing for their lives, and this evidenced by their pace and aggressiveness. In the 6th minute Perquis hit the bar, and 1 minute later Erdinq forced a save from Monaco GK Ruffier. In the 26th minute Martin sent home a low shot from close range. Park almost equalized in the 30th minute, but he was stopped by Sochaux GK Richert twice in quick succession. Immediately after the restart Monaco took a 2-0 when Modesto scored an OG while trying to clear a cross under pressure from Sverkos. The latter got a goal of his own in the 71st minute off a well-struck free-kick. Freddy Adu watch: On the bench, no PT. But he'll be back at Benfica soon!

Toulouse 0-0 Lille - Ligue 1-leading scorer Gignac almost increased his tally early in this match, hitting the side netting and forcing a save from Lille GK Butelle. In the 24th minute Balmont sent his shot just wide, and the clubs went into the half looking listless. Early in the second half Bastos was stopped by Toulouse GK Carrasso in quick succession, while Cabaye had his volley also stopped by Carrasso. Lille had 2 late chances to steal the 3 points, but Debuchy was stopped by Carrasso, and Hazard hit the post.

Valenciennes 1-2 Bordeaux - In a match that became increasingly contentious, Bordeaux gained a vital 3 points to keep pace with Marseille atop the table. In the 6th minute Audel had his header saved by Bordeaux GK Valverde, who was able to relax for most of the rest of the half. In the 22nd minute, however, Valverde was helpless to stop a PK from Danic after the latter had been fouled in the box by Chalme. Bordeaux began to exert some pressure, and Fernando headed home a Gourcuff free-kick in the 38th minute for the equalizer. In the 55th minute Gouffran forced a save from Valenciennes GK Penneteau, and shortly after Valenciennes gaffer (rumoured to be on the short list for the PSG position) was dismissed from the touchline. This proved to be a fatal distraction as Chalme sent in a cross in the 83rd minute that Gourcuff finished with a beautiful diving header. 2 minutes later Valenciennes were down to 10 men when Tiene received his 2nd YC, and Pieroni put them down to 9 men in the 91st minute (when Penneteau also received a YC) by collecting 2 YCs in the same minute.

So, after Matchday 35 the top of the table looks like this: (1) Marseille, with 71 points on a 20-11-4 record and a +29 goal differential; (2) Bordeaux, with 71 points on a 21-8-6 record and a +27 goal differential; (3) Lyon, with 64 points on an 18-10-7 record and a +19 goal differential; and (4) Paris Saint-Germain, with 63 points on a 19-6-10 record and a +13 goal differential.


phil said...

NYK, what can you tell me about Michel Bastos and how serious he is about wanting to leave Lille?

The NY Kid said...

A few things - first, his main goal is to be called up to the Brazilian national team and I believe that he will do whatever necessary to achieve that goal. Right now he is Lille's leading scorer (12, I believe) and assist man (8 or 9), which also put him in good numbers for Ligue 1 overall. He recently reupped his contract with Lille until 2012, but since the club had slipped out of a European slot (they currently sit in 6th place) he has been a little more vocal about wanting the club to succeed in order for him to stick around. I think he would be a good fit at Spurs and is definitely capable of EPL (suck it, Barclay's!) play - he, like many other Brazilians, is a free-kick specialist who has a dangerous left foot, which can be slightly more difficult for GKs to deal with - particularly since he has an incredibly hard shot.

My guess is that the transfer comes through during the summer months because I don't think that Lille are going to make up the ground to get into a European spot.

phil said...


I'd love to have a left-footed player for balance, and also so Modric can return to his CAM role and Keane can stop playing so dam deep. Bastos seems to fit the bill. I only worry that, given his international aspirations, he wouldn't view a trip to Spurs in the same way as Berbatov did: as a launching pad to a Big 4 side.

The Fan's Attic said...

Albert Einstein I believe once said, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

I think I am insane. Each week I check this review to see if Freddy Adu played. Each week he doesn't. Yet, I will come back the next week to see if he did.

The NY Kid said...

Well, after this season you can ignore these entirely!

The Fan's Attic said...

If I come checking for Freddy Adu updates from this post next season, I am clearly insane. But, I'll still check it for my weekly Ligue 1 fix.

ü75 said...

Nice save.

jjf3 said...

Like every other second in my life, this needs more Salma...

nothing personal, NYK :)

Sarah said...

Gourcuff's not pretty enough for you, jjf3? ;)

jjf3 said...

sorry for the delay in responding, figured I would end up the last post.

As for Gourcouff, well, he's pretty on the pitch, especially when he's scoring game-winning goals...

Outside of that, though, he has, well, a wee bit of a gender issue for me :)

then again, I'm not a born-and-bred Bordeaux fan - if my name was Francois, it might be a different story ;)