Ligue 1: Matchday 37 Review
Ligue 1 entered its penultimate round of fixtures last weekend, and there was still plenty to play for. While PSG had already easily wrapped up the title, the fight was still on for Champions League and Europa League places, plus the battle at the bottom of the table continued to be a fierce one. Find out about everything that went down in Ligue 1 below…
Monaco Close to Survival After Victory Over Amiens
It’s been a torrid season for Monaco. Last year’s Ligue 1 runners up have had a spectacular fall from grace and have been battling at the wrong end of the table this year. Last weekend’s 2-0 victory over fellow strugglers Amiens has almost assured Monaco their place in Ligue 1 next season though, as they’re now three points ahead of 18th placed Caen with a far superior goal difference.
Monaco’s first goal came in the 26th minute when Radamel Falcao scored, and they then completed victory in the 82nd minute, thanks to Aleksandr Golovin. Monaco would have to lose their next match plus suffer a severe swing in goal difference to be relegated now. Despite survival, Monaco supporters certainly won’t look back on this season with pride though.
While Monaco survived, Amiens’ loss meant that they could still find themselves in a playoff with a team from the lower division at the end of the season, as they’re just two points away from 18th. If Caen win next week and Amiens lose, Amiens will enter the playoffs. Even a draw might not be enough for Amiens, as their goal difference is similar to Caen’s.
Lyon Assured of Champions League Football
Lyon had a fantastic weekend, as they ensured that they’d be the third and final French team to qualify for next season’s Champions League. This came thanks to a 4-0 thrashing of Caen, leaving the losing side on the brink of a relegation playoff. Lyon now sit in 3rd place, four points clear of 4th and with only one game remaining in the season. Caen, as already mentioned, must win their final game to have any chance of escaping 18th position and a playoff.
Memphis Depay was the man to open the scoring, with a goal in the 49th minute. Maxwel Cornet and Moussa Dembélé then scored the next couple of goals for Lyon, before Depay grabbed another in the 74th minute. As expected, there was celebration from Lyon fans at the end, however visiting Caen fans now go nervously into the final day of the season.
St-Étienne Confirm Europa League Place
Another team now assured of European football next season is St-Étienne, thanks to their comfortable 3-0 win over Nice. It is now certain that they’ll finish in 4th, which is good for a Europa League place. The defeat means that Nice can now only finish as high as 7th place, therefore meaning that their slim chances of reaching Europe next season are now over.
Robert Berić scored the first two goals for St-Étienne, while Romain Hamouma scored the other. The scoreline is in fact very harsh on Nice though, who were the better team for long periods in the match and ended up with 67% of the possession. This didn’t stop St-Étienne players from celebrating at the end of the match though.
Dijon in Trouble After Loss to PSG
The weekend wasn’t a good one for Dijon, as they can’t now finish higher than 18th place. That would put them into the relegation playoff. They had the difficult task of taking on PSG in Paris, and weren’t able to compete with the champions, as they went down 4-0. The win now puts PSG on 91 points, 16 points clear of Lille in 2nd. PSG fans will be relieved, as it was their first victory since going out of the Champions League.
PSG started the scoring early, as Ángel Di María scored in the 3rd minute of the game. After just one more minute, they were 2-0 up, as Edinson Cavani got his name on the scoresheet. Kylian Mbappé then scored the final two goals for PSG, taking his personal tally of Ligue 1 goals to 32 – 10 more than his closest rival.
Elsewhere in Ligue 1…
Elsewhere, there was a high-scoring game in Toulouse, as the home team were on the end of a 5-2 thrashing by Marseille. Marseille’s goals came from Sanson, Sakai, N’Jie and Thauvin (2), while Toulouse scored through Iseka and Gradel. Marseille remain in 6th place, while Toulouse remain in 15th place. A loss on the final day could see Toulouse drop to as low as 17th place though.
There was also a comprehensive win for Lille, who have already confirmed that they’ll finish the season in 2nd place. They took on Angers and managed to hit five, taking them to 75 points this season. Nanitamo Ikone scored as early as the 2nd minute, before Nicolas Pépé got the second in the 14th minute. Jonathan Bamba then scored in the 69th minute, before Pépé scored his second. Luiz Araújo then scored the final goal in the 89th minute.
The match between Stade Reims and Bordeaux didn’t have anything riding on it, except pride. In the end the game finished 1-0 to Stade Reims, with Suk Hyun-jun scoring the only goal of the game. The result means that Stade Reims stay in 9th place, while Bordeaux stay in 14th – a disappointingly low table position for their fans.
Guingamp and Nîmes played out an entertaining draw in their fixture, with the score eventually finishing 2-2. The result means that Guingamp are now guaranteed to finish bottom of the league, while Nîmes move up into 7th place. Guingamp were 2-0 at half-time, thanks to goals from Marcus Thuram and Alexandre Mendy. However Nîmes hit back in the second half with goals from Renaud Ripart and Denis Bouanga.
Finally, Montpellier hosted Nantes over the weekend, and nothing could separate them, with the score ending 1-1. Nantes took the lead through Kalifa Coulibaly, before Florent Mollet equalised in the second half. Montpellier remain in 5th, now just one point above Marseille, while Nantes sit down in 11th place.