Une Vue à Ligue 1: Week 2



Une Vue à Ligue 1: Week 2

By Ed Pham

Ligue 1 teams win the first legs in European playoffs

Saint-Étienne got off to a good start with a 2-1 win at Beitar Jerusalem on Wednesday. While the visitors got off on the wrong foot with a goal from Beitar midfielder Idan Vered in the 8th minute, ASSE’s Fabien Lemoine quickly equalized in the 15th minute. Soon after the home side conceded an own goal to give Saint-Étienne the win in the first leg of the tie. ASSE play the second leg in Stade Geoffroy-Guichard on August 25th.

AS Monaco also came out winners of their first leg as well in their UEFA Champions League playoff against Villareal, beating the men in yellow 2-1 at El Madrigal. Monaco’s Fabinho gave the visitors the lead after converting a penalty on a foul by Thomas Lemar. However, Villareal’s Alexandre Pato equalized late in the first half. It took Monaco midway through the second half to grab the game winner, as Bernardo Silva found the back of the net. Monaco will be without Benjamin Mendy for the second leg, as he was sent off late in the match for yellow card accumulation.

Both teams look in good shape to make it into the group stage with their away goal advantages.

Paris Saint-Germain looks less than stellar, but giving the youth a chance

The defending champions looked less than stellar in their game against Bastia last Friday. While they did win 1-0, Bastia gave the visitors a scare with Enzo Crivelli hitting just wide of the post on Allan Saint-Maximin’s cross. It took a 63rd minute put-away by left-back Layvin Kurzawa to give PSG the win.

They return back to Paris to host FC Metz this upcoming Sunday. Manager Unai Emery has shown faith in his younger players showed, as France youth internationals Presnel Kimpembe and Adrien Rabiot both got starts for the Parisian side, as well as Kurzawa himself. The left-back in particular showed aggressiveness on the attack, finding himself further up on the pitch and putting pressure on Bastia’s right flank. His defense remained somewhat questionable at times, particularly in dealing with Saint-Maximin. If this trend of starting his youth continues, it may be a healthy sign for a club, who had relied on heavily on their older veterans at times.

Ryad Boudebouz’s Attacking Threat

While Alexandre Lacazette might have had the spotlight with his hat-trick against AS Nancy Lorraine on Sunday, a player that you might want to keep an eye on is Montpeiller midfielder Ryad Boudebouz. His nifty move to create space and magnificent strike gave his team the lead and game winner. The goal itself definitely will have some argument for Ligue 1 goal of the season. However, it was his play that really shined, as he constantly threatened down the right flank with his runs on and off the ball. His crosses created a good number of chances for Montpeiller as well, forcing Angers to have to deal with the threat immediately. With ASSE struggling to deal with Bordeaux’s direct play on Saturday in their loss, it’ll be interesting to see if Boudebouz can continue to create that attacking presence against Les Verts.

Marseille’s poor form continues from last season

Despite their transfers and returning players from injury, Olympique de Marseille continued their woes from last season, as they played to a 0-0 draw versus Toulouse on Sunday at the Stade Velodrome. For a team with so much talent, it was shocking to see the defensive errors committed, as well as their misfirings on the attack. Toulouse definitely had their chances as well and could have come out with three points from Marseille too. It could have just been a bad game. But given how last season went, this could be a fear that OM fans can be concerned about. While the season is still young, it would have been a good game to get back on track with.

Games to watch this weekend

Montpeiller at Saint-Étienne is probably the featured match of this weekend, as Les Verts came up short in their comeback attempts against Bordeaux. If Montpeiller can exploit ASSE like Bordeaux did last Saturday, they could have six points in the first two weeks of the season.

Nantes host Monaco this weekend. However, the young Nantes side did not look particularly convincing winners against newly promoted Dijon this past Saturday with a 1-0 victory. With plenty of chances, they failed to convert and kept it closer than it likely should have been. However, Monaco needed to comeback from 0-2 at home to draw against Guingamp, in a game that featured a spectacular strike from Guingamp’s Moustapha Diallo. Much like their Champions League match, Monaco found a goal off a penalty from Fabinho, before Bernardo Silva equalized for the home team. Monaco will likely be tired after their midweek match, so the western side will look to capitalize.


Bon week-end!


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