Bordeaux 0-0 Nice
Balotelli (90+1′), Belhanda (90+5′)
Review: Nice fail to close out 2016 with a win – they are only able to manage a 0-0 draw with Bordeaux, but suffer two damaging red cards in added time which will affect them in the new year. It was one of Nice’s best performances in terms of keeping the ball, with over 700 completed passes – but they struggled to make any decent chances for themselves. Balotelli was then sent off for a kick out at one of the Bordeaux players, before Belhanda retaliated to a challenge on him to earn his red card.
Our MotM: Arnaud Souquet (Nice) – The right back for Nice played well and kept Bordeaux’s top scorer Diego Rolan quiet throughout.
Table Changes: Bordeaux stay 10th, Nice remain top.
Monaco 2-1 Caen
Falcao (48′ (P)), Bakayoko (76′) | Da Silva (51′), Bazile (90+4′)
Review: Monaco just about beat struggling Caen to ensure that they go into the winter break just a win behind leaders Nice. Monaco always seemed in control, but their shooting was often wayward – with just 6 of their 21 shots ending up on target as they struggled to break through Caen’s 5 man defence. But, it was just a matter of time before the free scoring Monaco side broke through and got the win.
Our MotM: Tiemoué Bakayoko (Monaco) – The young midfielder put in the type of performance that have seen Chelsea linked to him recently – a great all round performance with nearly flawless passing stats throughout.
Table Changes: Monaco stay 2nd and close the gap to Nice to just 2 points, Caen fall a place to 19th
PSG 5-0 Lorient
Meunier (25′), Toure OG (44′), Silva (50′), Cavani (63′ (P)), Moura (70′)
Review: PSG thrash Lorient to give manager Unai Emery a much needed win just before the winter break. Despite this win, Emery is still under a lot of pressure – PSG won the title by 31 points last season! This performance was the least that was expected from PSG, due to how poor Lorient have been all season. Lorient were poor again, managing just 1 shot on target throughout and contributing to their own downfall through an own goal.
Our MotM: Lucas Moura (PSG) – Easily the best player for PSG, with twice as many shots as any other player (including his goal) and sending in a whopping 22 crosses during the game!
Table Changes: PSG remain 3rd, Lorient are still rooted to the foot of the table.
Lyon 2-0 Angers
Lacazette (9′), Fekir (84′)
Review: The form team in Ligue 1 earned yet another victory to ensure that they end 2016 in the top 4, just about keeping pace with the runaway trio ahead of them. This win was hard fought though, as Angers pushed them hard despite not seeing too much of the ball – forcing saves out of Lopes, and even striking the woodwork! Ultimately the quality in the Lyon side shone through and got them the win.
Our MotM: Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon) – Super performance from Lyons star striker as he notched his 13th league goal of the campaign, then hit the bar and later provided the assist for Fekir’s goal. A great all round showing.
Table Changes: Lyon remain 4th, Angers slip a place to 16th.
Metz 2-2 Guingamp
Nguette (12′), Diallo OG (90+2′) | Briand (49′ 74′)
Review: A back and forth game to finish the year for these two sides, with Guingamp denied the win by an added time own goal. Before that, it had actually been a fairly even game with both sides playing alright, but not great – they managed 4 shots on target each. Guingamp had probably shaded it, so will be disappointed to lose ground on Lyon in 4th.
Our MotM: Jimmy Briand (Guingamp) – scored with both his shots on target and had a good pass completion rate in the final third (81%)
Table Changes: Metz fall a place to 18th, Guingamp remain in 5th
Bastia 1-2 Marseille
Djiku (83′) | Gomis (8′), N’Jié (90+1′)
Review: A strange game, as Marseille dominated possession but Bastia had much better attacking stats (and opportunities). Following Gomis’ goal, Bastia worked incredibly hard to find an equaliser, only to throw it away in added time!
Our MotM: Allan Saint-Maximin (Bastia) – Got the assist for Bastia’s equaliser, created 3 chances for team mates and completed the most take ons of anyone on the pitch.
Table Changes: Bastia drop 2 places to 14th, Marseille stay 6th.
Lille 1-1 Stade Rennais
Eder (89′) | Ntep (22′)
Review: Lille rescue a deserved draw late on to ensure that Stade Rennais end the year without a win in 4 games. Lille were better in all aspects of attacking, but just couldn’t get the ball in the net until Eder popped up to grab the equaliser. They had had plenty of chances earlier in the game, so Stade Rennais had been warned – but they just couldn’t keep Lille out forever.
Our MotM: Paul-Georges Ntep (Stade Rennais) – The away sides best player – he had 4 shots (including the goal) and was a threat on the counterattack with his pace.
Table Changes: Lille move up a place to 12th, Stade Rennais remain 7th
Saint-Étienne 0-0 Nancy
Review: The second 0-0 draw on this match day saw Saint-Étienne dominating against a very average Nancy side who were reduced to 10 men in the second half, but fail to make a breakthrough – hardly surprising for a side with the least goals scored in the top half! Nancy defended well, but were helped a lot by Saint-Étienne’s poor finishing – with 8 out of 18 shots off target. In the end, a draw is probably a fair result – even if it doesn’t really help either side.
Our MotM: Clement Longlet (Nancy) – After his centre back partner was sent off with half an hour to go, Longlet really stepped up to ensure Nancy got a point.
Table Changes: Both teams move up a place – Saint-Étienne are now 8th, Nancy now occupy 13th.
Dijon 2-0 Toulouse
Tavares (49′ (P)), Lees-Melou (52′)
Review: Toulouse’s poor form continued with a disappointing defeat to a Dijon side who have been hovering around the relegation zone all season. The game was hardly a classic, but Dijon did just about edge it stats wise. They set up with a back 5 and thus stopped Toulouse’s front 3 quite easily – allowing their own midfielders and forwards to go forward and cause Toulouse problems.
Our MotM: Mehdi Abeid (Dijon) – Good performance from the ex-Newcastle man, as he combined attacking and defensive responsibility well – striking the woodwork and completing the most passes and crosses of anyone on the pitch, as well as completing multiple tackles and interceptions.
Table Changes: Dijon rise a place to 15th, Toulouse fall a place to 9th.
Nantes 1-0 Montpellier
Lima (12′ (P))
Review: Relegation threatened Nantes secure a big win before the winter break to ensure they can head for Christmas knowing that they’ve done enough to be above the relegation zone. Montpellier will be disappointed, as after the goal they were dominant in their attempts to get an equaliser – but the ball just didn’t go in. They maybe deserved a point, but can’t have too many complaints about losing – they weren’t good enough.
Our MotM: Lucas Lima (Nantes) – Scorer of the only goal, and assured in defence throughout.
Table Changes: Nantes climb 2 places (and leave the relegation zone) to 17th, Montpellier remain 11th.
Ligue 1 has now stopped for its winter break, fixtures will resume on the 13th/14th/15th January 2017.