Simon Scutt takes you through the Football News Ligue 1 Team of the Week.
Anthony Lopes (Lyon) GK
Lyon’s travails at the start of the season had been well documented and things looked even more daunting given their next two fixtures saw them taking on last season’s top 2. But Monaco have not started the season well either and Lyon were able to overcome ASM thanks to standout performances from their youthful ranks. Goalkeeper Lopes was decisive on many different occasions making eight saves in the course of the game.
Franck Tabanou (Saint Étienne) LB
Saint Étienne welcomed Caen to le Chaudron on Saturday looking to bounce back after their shellacking taken at the Parc des Princes a fortnight ago. They produced a decent performance as they really did throw everything at Caen and it looked like no player in green would find the net. Indeed it wouldn’t be a Stephanois but a Caen player who headed the ball in the wrong direction from a corner to give Saint Etienne the win.
Rod Fanni (Marseille) CB
Having seemingly been on the way out of Marseille in the summer, Rod Fanni would have been seen as somewhat of a surprise selection in the heart of Marseille’s defence at Evian on Sunday. But he turned in a fine display winning all his aerial duals and capping it off with an assist. Winning at Evian might not seem like the most impressive of victories for the bigger sides but none of the top three from last season won at Annecy.
Zoumana Camara (PSG) CB
Squad depth is one of the key elements of great sides, the ability to cope with injuries whilst not suffering on the pitch is crucial. PSG were without their two star Brazilian central defenders through injury, thus it was veteran defender Camara came into the sides at Rennes. It would be him that scored the Parisians’ only goal of the game as he ghosted in between the Rennes defenders.
Sebastien Corchia (Lille) RB
Lille are top of the league thanks to their victory over Nantes in the sun on Sunday afternoon. They, along with PSG, are the only two unbeaten sides in the division. As usual with this Lille side the game is based on defence and it was once again to the fore with Corchia proving he was worth the wait for Lille fans after his protracted transfer last January.
Marco Verratti (PSG) CM
Verratti has become so consistent in the PSG midfield that he almost flies under the radar. While Blaise Matuidi and Yohan Cabaye are having to made do with sitting on the bench right now there is no chance of Verratti being dropped. He touched the ball more often than anyone on the pitch at Rennes, more than twice any Rennes player. He even had time to pick up his customary yellow card.
Nampalys Mendy (Nice) CM
Football is often about concentration, players and teams must remain fully focused right until the final whistle. Never was this truer than on Saturday in Nice, as an erroneous back-pass gave Nice all the points. The Nice team responded relatively well after their thumping at rivals Marseille two weeks previously.
Jéremy Pied (Guingamp) RW
Two teams at opposite ends of the table took on each other on Sunday afternoon as Bordeaux travelled up to Guingamp looking to continue their winning start to the season. But it would be the Bretons who triumphed thanks to two first half goals. A lively performance from Pied saw him deliver three key passes for his side as he played an important role in Guingamp’s second win of the season.
Odair Fortes (Reims) LW
Reims had begun the season in underwhelming fashion with a draw and three losses ahead of the game against Toulouse. Toulouse themselves have lost their last five away games in the league and were without several important players. It would be the northerners that triumphed thanks mainly to Odair Fortes who laid on the two goals for his teammates.
Andre-Pierre Gignac (Marseille) CF
21 seconds is all it took to set Marseille on their way to a comfortable victory at Evian on Sunday night. Latching onto a lofted through-ball his swerving volley found the net to give the visitors the perfect start. Marseille have now won their last three games and appear to be starting to click as they are now more accustomed to his tactical system.
Divock Origi (Lille) CF
Lille’s two nil win was largely thanks to the contribution of the Belgian international Origi. He helped his team with a goal and an assist. Lille came to life in the beginning of the second half and they scored two goals in the space of the three minutes. The first a powerful back post header from Origi who then turned provider as he played Rony Lopes in on goal.
S.S. with C.N.