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French Football Five 23E Journée

5. Just a point at the top of Ligue 2

Metz are suffering a mid-season crisis as Ligue 2 leaders, with their second loss in a row, stretching their winning-less streak to four games.  It seems now is most certainly the time to play the German border side, and Niort were the latest team to cash in, beating ‘Les Grenats’ 2-0 last Friday. Angers to move to 40 points, just one behind the league leaders. It took the Loire Valley side 88 minutes to break the deadlock against bottom side CA Bastia, and they had Mohamed Yattara for sticking the ball away much to the relief of everyone at the club. Lens missed the chance to go top after only earning a draw against relegation battling Laval 0-0.

4. Provence’s Produce

It was a fantastic weekend for ‘Provence’ sides in the second tier of French football. Both Nîmes and Istres have been fighting a relegation battle over the last few months, and have since extracted themselves from the relegation zone. Last weekend the two took a big step towards surviving the drop with excellent wins. Nîmes pulled off the shock of the round, hammering then 4th placed Tours 3-0, while Istres secured a 3-2 victory over Créteil, putting ‘Les Aviateurs’ a mere two points behind Friday’s rivals, and 13th placed Auxerre.

3. PSG Pick Back Up Form

Paris Saint-Germain stretched their lead at the top of the table back to five points after a comfortable 2-0 win at home to Bordeaux. Zlatan Ibrahimovic netted his 18th goal of the season to put the Parisians in the lead, despite valid concers over off-side. Alex made sure of the three points with a second from a corner two minutes from time. PSG Manager Laurent Blanc was stressing the importance of February before the game, and next Sunday brings the titanic clash between the league leaders and second placed Monaco

2. ‘Grand Prix’ out of Monaco’s reach

As previously mentioned Monaco dropped two points in a frustrating draw away to Lorient. It looked as if ex-Arsenal striker Jérémie Aliadière’s goal in the 73rd minute would wrap up all three points for the home side, but to Monaco’s huge relief Layvin Kurzawa netted three minutes from time to earn something from the game for the Southern side. Once in the relegation zone, 2012 winners Montpellier have surged up the table with wins in their last three games. Ligue 1’s form side beat 9th placed Reims and are now 9 points clear of the drop zone.

1. A ‘Nice’ Sunday Afternoon

After victory over 5th placed Marseille in the Cup last week, Nice claimed another highly placed scalp with a win over 3rd placed Lille on Sunday. Mathieu Bodmer’s goal on the stroke of half time was enough t secure all three points for ‘Les Aiglons’, pushing them up to 12th place in the table. 15th placed Rennes gave their fans plenty to cheer for in what has been a tough season with a 2-0 victory of Lyon, while 13th placed Toulouse earned a 2-2 draw away to Marseille in the Sunday night game.

Pundit Arena, Kevin Galvin.

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