Week 8 review: PSG monstrous, Monaco muted as OM go third
PSG sent out a resounding message as they confirmed top spot with a 6-2 hiding of Bordeaux, with Monaco held to a 1-1 draw by Montpellier. Meanwhile OM climbed to third on the back of a thrilling 4-2 derby win over Nice.
Paris Saint-Germain sent shockwaves through Europe with their 3-0 dispatching of Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Tuesday, and on the weekend they took their forceful messaging campaign domestic with a 6-2 drubbing of Bordeaux, who had been well-placed in third, with the league’s only other unbeaten record for the season.
Emery: ‘Even sharper in attack’
Jocelyn Gourvennec’s team were quickly under the pump as Neymar Jr banged home a superb 30-metre free-kick before slotting the perfect ball through for Ligue 1 Conforama top scorer Edinson Cavani to bag his eighth of the season. Paris went on to score a club-record total of five goals in the first half, with Kylian Mbappé rounding out Paris’ scoring just before the hour-mark.
“First of all I’m happy we got all three points against Bordeaux, a good team who were in third place on the league table. Right now, we have taken a lead over Monaco,” said coach Unai Emery, pleased that his side put on a show after the 0-0 draw in Montpellier in Week 7. “It was also important to win in front of our fans so that they could enjoy some beautiful football. We’re very happy about that. Scoring goals is good for the spectacle, but I’m not happy that we conceded two. We will work to keep improving, to have a team that’s even sharper in attack more solid at the back.”
“We started well, but Neymar’s extraordinary goal left us a bit dazed. We were too passive, not active defensively, and they were exceptional technically,” said Gourvennec, whose side slipped three places to sixth. “Just as against Munich, they had too much space, and when they get that, they don’t make a mistake, and exploit it with surgical precision.”
Meanwhile second-placed Monaco had started the weekend with the visit of Montpellier looking to bounce back from their 3-0 Champions League defeat to Porto and put the pressure on PSG. But Montpellier, buoyed by their muzzling of the capital club in Week 7, bagged a last-gasp equaliser to cap a valiant performance 1-1.
“Our opponents played well,” said Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim, whose hitman Radamel Falcao struck his 12th in eight matches to stay atop the Ligue 1 Conforama scorers chart. “We lacked quality in our transitions in the second half. Speed isn’t one of our characteristics right now. But more important than speed is movement and runs, which we lacked in the second half. I changed five players for the team to stay balanced.”
Ocampos fires as Marseille trump Nice
Olympique de Marseille had to swallow the pill of Europa League defeat on Thursday, 1-0 away to Salzburg, but Rudi Garcia’s men bounced back in Nice on Sunday night, fighting back from two goals down to win 4-2 and climb to third place.
“We showed a lot of character and mental toughness. To get to 3-2 up at half-time after being two goals down, you need to be tough – and the lads were. Bravo to them. Our win tonight came thanks to the rotation on Thursday,” said Garcia, while Favre, whose side slipped to tenth, remained characteristically circumspect. “When you lead 2-0 it’s difficult to take. We started very well, we led 2-0, we had the match in hand, we were controlling the game. We made mistakes that we paid for. I am not at all happy with the way we managed it. At 2-0, you can’t do what we did.”
Ranieri’s Canaris taking flight
Despite starting the season with back-to-back defeats, FC Nantes pulled into fourth place with a 1-0 win ten-man over bottom club FC Metz – their fourth Ligue 1 Conforama win in a row and their fifth in six matches – that came thanks to Emiliano Sala’s second of the season. Nolan Roux had a chance to clinch a draw from the spot at the death, and although his initial effort beat the ‘keeper, he was forced to re-take it due to encroachment and fired the second effort over the bar.
Hot on Nantes’ heels are SM Caen, who claimed their own fifth win in six matches in Rennes to go fifth, while Saint-Etienne slipped to seventh after handing ESTAC Troyes a third win of the season, 2-1, both sides ending the match with ten men.
OL can’t catch a break
Olympique Lyonnais may have suffered just one defeat in all competitions so far this season, but their slide down the table continued on Saturday as they were held to the fourth draw of the Ligue 1 Conforama campaign, 3-3 in Angers. The 50th-minute red card for OL defender Marcelo proved fatal, with Angers adding two more goals to claim a share of the spoils.
EA Guingamp and Toulouse FC couldn’t be separated as Marcus Thuram, son of French World Cup winner Lilian, saw his second-ever Ligue 1 Conforama goal cancelled out by the first of Brazilian midfielder Wergiton Somalia’s career. Similarly, Dijon FC and promoted RC Strasbourg traded defensive errors to also end 1-1.
Meanwhile, LOSC’s clash away to Amiens was tragically called off mid-way through the match after a stand collapsed, hospitalising six people. The LFP has vowed to investigate the incident fully, in co-operation with local authorities.