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Ligue 1 Matchday 3 Report: Tensions Flare in Le Classique as the Top of the Table is Shaken Up

The third matchday of Ligue 1 was the first time in the new season that all 20 teams were in action together. Here’s all you need to know about the weekend’s action…

Bordeaux 0-0 Lyon

The opening match saw Bordeaux and Lyon face off.

The visitors looked bright from the very start, and they nearly scored in the 2nd minute. Karl Toko-Ekambi played a quick one-two with Moussa Dembélé, and was chasing the ball in the six-yard box. He reached it just too late, and the keeper forced him to shoot wide.

After a dominant first-half where they couldn’t fancy any great openings, Lyon continued to attempt the lion’s share of shots in the second half. Thiago Mendes came close in the 64th minute as he attempted a low drive from the edge of the box, but his effort went wide.

Les Gones got another good chance three minutes later, as they had a free-kick in a very promising position slightly to the right of goal. Maxwel Cornet hit it, but it was straight at Benoît Costil, who was able to punch it out.

Lyon came closest to scoring in the 81st minute, as Houssem Aouar cut out a pass near the edge of the opposition box, dribbled past a couple of defenders and tried to slot it past the keeper, However, his effort came back out off the post, and Cornet’s follow-up was blocked.

So, Bordeaux picked up a hard-earned point from a game where they had zero shots on target, while Lyon were left to rue missed chances.

Lyon’s Dutch forward Memphis Depay looks on during the French L1 football match between Girondins de Bordeaux and Olympique Lyonnais (OL) at the Matmut-Atlantique stadium in Bordeaux, southwestern France on September 11, 2020. (Photo by PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

Player of the Match:

Léo Dubois – The French wing-back bombarded up and down the right flank, as he finished the match with 5/9 accurate crosses, 4 tackles and 3 key passes. Unfortunately, there was no one to finish the chances he created.

Montpellier 3-1 Nice

Montpellier hosted league-leaders Nice for Saturday’s first match.

The hosts were by far the better side early on, and deservedly took the lead in the 18th minute. Andy Delort headed a cross down for Gaëtan Laborde, who struck it purely on the half-volley and found the back of the net.

Nice pushed for an equaliser thereafter, but they found themselves two goals down on the other side of half-time. Téji Savanier, who was absolutely everywhere in the match, delivered a beautiful corner for Daniel Congré, who headed home.

Soon after the hour mark, Savanier was directed at Mihailo Ristić, who smashed a volley from the edge of the box. The keeper was able to repel it, but it only fell to Andy Delort, who headed across for Daniel Congré to give him a glorious chance to bag a brace, which he took.

Nice tried to spark a comeback in the 69th minute when Dante headed Amine Gouiri’s cross in, but they failed to score again, and ended up losing 3-1, ceding the top spot of the table.

Player of the Match:

Téji Savanier – As aforementioned, the French midfielder was all over the pitch throughout the match, as he finished with 7/8 successful long balls, 6 dribbles completed, 5 key passes, 2/4 shots on target and an assist. All-round brilliance from the 28 year-old.

Montpellier’s French midfielder Teji Savanier (R) vies with Nice’s Algerian defender Youcef Atal (C) during the French L1 football match between Montpellier (MHSC) and Nice (OGCN) at the Mosson Stadium in Montpellier, southern France, on September 12, 2020. (Photo by PASCAL GUYOT/AFP via Getty Images)

Saint-Étienne 2-0 Strasbourg

Saint-Étienne and Strasbourg faced off later that day, in a clash that had importance at either end of the table.

The visitors looked the better side early on and nearly scored in the 13th minute, as Abdul Majeed Waris had his header saved from very close range.

After a cagey first half for Saint-Étienne where they were more threatened, Les Verts won a penalty in the 55th minute as a cross was handled by Alexander Djiku. Denis Bouanga stepped up, and slotted home.

Mehdi Chahiri came close to equalising in the 72nd minute, as his shot from outside the box was very close, but went wide of the post.

The hosts doubled their lead and put the game to bed in the 82nd minute, as the ball broke loose for Mahdi Camara after a half-clearance in the six-yard box. The 22 year-old put a foot through it, and hit the roof of the net to help his side get a 2-0 win.

Saint-Etienne’s French midfielder Mahdi Camara (L) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match between Saint-Etienne (ASSE) and Strasbourg (RCSA) on September 12, 2020, at the Geoffroy Guichard in Saint-Etienne, central France. (Photo by PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP via Getty Images)

Player of the Match:

Jessy Moulin – Saint-Étienne’s keeper was instrumental in his side’s win, as he made six crucial saves to preserve his clean sheet and keep the hosts in the match. A superb showing from the 34 year-old.

Lille 1-0 Metz

Lille and Metz battled it out on Sunday’s first match.

The visitors came very close to scoring an early goal, as Matthieu Udol’s cross was deflected onto the crossbar by José Fonte.

Lille started to press for a lead, but it was Metz who had the next good chance too, as Fabien Centonze’s brilliant cross was somehow turned wide by Ibrahima Niane.

Lille drew a number of good saves out of Alexandre Oukidja in the second half, but the keeper’s outstretched hand failed to keep Luiz Araújo’s shot after the Brazilian was found in the box by Domagoj Bradarić.

Player of the Match:

Domagoj Bradarić – Lille’s left-back saw the most of the ball in the match, as he finished with 111 touches, 4/8 long balls, as many tackles, 2 key passes, dribbles completed and fouls drawn. A superb showing from the 20 year-old on the left.

Domagoj Bradaric in Lille OSC vs FC Metz – Ligue 1

Angers 1-0 Reims

Reims travelled to face Angers, hoping to score some crucial points away from home.

The hosts looked bright at the start, and were a man up in the 42nd minute as Wout Faes was sent off for a high boot in the box. Stephane Bahoken stepped up to take the penalty, but his effort was saved by Predrag Rajković.

10 minutes into the second half, Angers were off celebrating as Antonin Bobichon’s defence-splitting pass was received by Bahoken, who lifted it over the keeper to score.

Stephan Bahokene scoring in Angers vs Reims – Ligue 1

A few minutes later, Angers lost their numerical advantage as Romain Thomas stupidly clipped El Bilal Touré and received a second yellow.

That didn’t deter them, however, and they were close to doubling the lead as Angelo Fulgini struck the post with a low free-kick.

Player of the Match:

Predrag Rajković – Reims’ goalkeeper was in sublime form, as he made 5 crucial saves (including a penalty) to keep his side in the match. But even that was not enough, as they lost by a goal.

Dijon 0-2 Brest

Dijon welcomed Brest, with both sides scoreless in terms of points before the match began.

Dijon knocked on the Brest goal’s door early on, but it was Dijon who took the lead in the 42nd minute as Romain Perraud picked out the bottom corner from the left with a brilliant drive.

Brest’s French defender Romain Perraud celebrates after scoring a goal during the French Ligue 1 football match between Dijon FCO (DFCO) and Stade Brestois 29 (SB29) on September 13, 2020 at the Gaston Gerard Stadium in Dijon, central France.(Photo by PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP via Getty Images)

The hosts had a great chance to equalise early on in the second period as Steve Mounie found himself on the end of an inviting cross, but his effort was straight at the keeper.

Things went from bad to worse soon thereafter, as a reckless challenge from Roger Assalé saw him sent off only nine minutes after coming on.

Brest tried to get a two-goal cushion thereafter, but they nearly conceded as Bruno Ecuele Manga struck the crossbar from a half-volley in the box. But, the visitors got what they wanted in the dying stages of the manage, as Romain Perraud’s cross was spectacularly hit on the volley by Irvin Cardona, and that secured three points.

Player of the Match:

Romain Perraud – Another left-back who strongly impressed was Romain Perraud, as he got a goal and assist in the match. To add to that, he made 3 tackles and 2 clearances while completing 3/5 long balls and maintaining a pass completion rate of 86.4%. A solid display from the young Frenchman.

FC Lorient 2-3 Lens

Lorient and Lens squared off in what could have proved to be another early relegation six-pointer.

Although Lens started off well, they conceded in the 13th minute as Adrian Grbic netted from within the box after Yoane Wissa found him.

The visitors did find an equaliser soon, as Julien Laporte made a silly challenge in the penalty area to give Gaël Kakuta a golden chance from the spot. The 29 year-old converted it with ease.

Three minutes later, they went and took the lead as a free-kick was flicked on by Florian Sotoca to Facundo Medina, who took a touch to control before scoring with an overhead kick.

Lens made it three in the 63rd minute, as the match-winner against PSG, Ignatius Ganago showed great strength to beat a defender as he went through on goal before slotting past the keeper.

Lens Cameroonian forward Ignatius Ganago (C) scores a goal against Lorients French goalkeeper Paul Nardi during the French Ligue 1 football match between Lorient and Lens, at the Moustoir stadium in Lorient, western France, on September 13, 2020. (Photo by DAMIEN MEYER/AFP via Getty Images)

The last twist in the tale came in stoppage time, as Loïc Badé made a clumsy challenge in the box to see a second yellow and concede a penalty. Yoanne Wissa was at hand to take it, and he scored.

Player of the Match:

Florian Sotoca – Although Lens’ forward failed to score, he did bag a pair of assist and looked strong throughout. He finished the match with 6 aerial duels won, 6/8 successful long balls, completed 2 dribbles and as many key passes. A hard-working display was rewarded well for the Frenchman.

Nîmes 2-4 Rennes

High-flying Rennes, who would have been keen to get a European spot travelled to Nîmes for their Matchday 3 assignment.

The visitors got off to a great start, as they scored in the 12th minute after Raphinha pulled the ball back to Sehrou Guirassy at the edge of the box, and he picked out the top corner.

Nîmes were able to equalise in the 36th minute though, as a half-cleared corner broke for Andrés Cubas outside the box, whose deflected volley beat the keeper.

Three minutes later, Flavien Tait beat a couple of defenders on the left side before cutting it back for Sehrou Guirassy, who had a simple tap-in to score this time around.

Rennes’ French forward Serhou Guirassy (L) celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match between Nimes and Rennes at the Costieres stadium in Nimes, southern France, on September 13, 2020. (Photo by PASCAL GUYOT/AFP via Getty Images)

The next goal came in the 55th minute, as Birger Meling showed good close control on the left before squaring it for Zinedine Ferhat, who calmly slotted it in.

The crucial goal for Rennes came in the 72nd minute, as they took the lead for the third time when Nayef Aguerd guided Benjamin Bourigeaud’s free-kick in.

The final goal came in the 97th minute, as Rennes broke after an all-out push from Nîmes which involved the keeper going forward as well. Although he got back to his goal, he couldn’t stop Benjamin Bourigeaud’s effort from the left after Romain Del Castillo located him.

Player of the Match:

Sehrou Guirassy – If there ever was a proper way to score your first-ever goal for Rennes, then Sehrou Guirassy put that on display with a brilliant finish for the opener. He added a second with a tap-in, and looked threatening throughout the match with 2/4 shots on target, 4 aerial duels won and a passing accuracy of 80%.

Monaco 2-1 Nantes

Meanwhile in the Principality, Monaco hosted Nantes looking for a crucial win.

Only five minutes in, a deflected cross fell to Sofiane Diop in the box, who found the back of the net with a great finish.

Nantes had a glorious chance to equalise soon thereafter as Moses Simon was located in the six-yard box, but he somehow blazed his volley high.

The second half saw Wissam Ben Yedder come close early on as he cut inside from the left and let fly, but only managed to hit the base of the post.

In the 61st minute, however, the Canaries did find the back of the net, as Dennis Appiah’s lofted ball was turned in by Ludovic Blas as Monaco’s keeper was left in no man’s land.

Four minutes later, Monaco retook the lead as substitute Willem Geubbels scored after Henry Onyekuru sent him through on goal. The hosts were able to hold on thereafter, and came away with a 2-1 win.

Player of the Match:

Cesc Fàbregas – In his 800th senior game, Cesc Fàbregas dominated proceedings in midfield as he has been doing for so many years. He finished the match with 110 touches, 92 passes at an accuracy of 82.6%, 9/13 long balls completed, 10 attempted crosses and 5 key passes. The 33 year-old has certainly still got it.

Cesc Fabregas in AS Monaco vs FC Nantes – Ligue 1

Paris Saint-Germain 0-1 Marseille

The stage was set for an intense Le Classique in Paris, with the hosts looking to make up for the disappointing defeat against Lens.

Within two minutes, the Parisians came very close to scoring as Marco Verratti side-footed a cross from close range, but Steve Mandanda was there to make a great reflex save.

Dimitri Payet had a sly dig at PSG in during their Champions League campaign, and he rubbbed salt into their wound in the 31st minute as his brilliant free-kick was turned in from close proximity by Florian Thauvin.

Marco Verratti came close again in the second half with a similar attempt, but Steve Mandanda kept it out with a smart save once more.

It all kicked off in the final stages of stoppage time, as Leandro Paredes clashed with Darío Benedetto and then chaos ensued. In the mess, the referee dished out five red cards with Layvin Kurzawa, Jordan Amavi, Benedetto, Paredes and Neymar were all sent off. In the end, it was Marseille who came away with the points.

Paris Saint-Germain’s French defender Layvin Kurzawa (C) and Marseille’s French defender Jordan Amavi (2R) receive red cards at the end of the French L1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Marseille (OM) at the Parc de Princes stadium in Paris on September 13, 2020. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Player of the Match:

Florian Thauvin – The match-winner looked threatening throughout, as he made 3 dribbles, drew as many fouls, completed the same number of tackles and saw 46 touches of the ball. He stepped up at the greatest stage in all of France, and scored a crucial goal.

Stats courtesy

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