Ligue 1 Matchday 1 Round-Up + Matchday 2 Preview
Title favourites all win
Considering the fact that PSG are 1/10 favourites with the bookies to win Ligue 1, it may be the case that only one team can really be classed as a favourite here. But nevertheless, the ‘big four’ of PSG, Marseille, Lyon & Monaco all got their campaigns off to a winning start. It was pretty comfortable for each outfit, all winning by at least a couple of goals. With a number of key players missing then I’m sure all respective managers would’ve been pleased to collect 3 points. Marseille were probably the most convincing as they beat a poor Toulouse side 4-0. Meanwhile, Thomas Tuchel’s reign in Paris started with a 3-0 success facing a plucky Caen outfit who caused them problems on occasion. Perhap the most memorable moment was Timothy Weah, son of the legendary George Weah grabbing his first senior Ligue 1 goal. He did so in bizarre fashion as he blocked goalkeeper Brice Samba’s clearance in what was a horror moment for the Caen custodian.
New boys impress
The two promoted teams Nimes & Reims both got off to a winning start. Down on the south coast a very early goal from Moussa Doumbia was enough to secure victory for Reims, and they ruined Patrick Vieira’s debut as Nice coach in the process. Meanwhile, Nimes were involved in perhaps the most remarkable match of the round when they came from behind to beat Angers 4-3! The incredible thing was that Nimes were 3-1 and a man down with just 15 mins left but managed to produce a ridiculous finish and claim a memorable victory. Harrison Manzala will go down as the Angers villain as he somehow missed an open goal when they were 3-2 up - hardly the greatest way to mark your debut for a new club!
Goals keep flowing in Ligue 1
Perhaps going under the radar because of its past reputation of being a ‘boring’ division, Ligue 1 has actually dramatically improved in terms of entertainment in recent years. Last season's average of 2.72 goals per game was actually higher than the English Premier League! Early indications would suggest for another open and exciting year with 33 goals being scored in the round and only a solitary match contained less than one goal. Let’s hope this continues!
Transfers this week
Some of the bigger deals in the past seven days have been outgoings. Zambo Anguissa was signed by Fulham from OM for roughly £25m. I have to say this seems like an extortionate fee for someone who is a decent player, but not one that you would say is in any way special yet. Huddersfield signed Isaac Mbenza on loan from Montpellier and his pace could be useful in the EPL, providing he gets enough gametime. Meanwhile, a couple of domestic transfers have caught the eye. New Nice manager Patrick Vieira has decided to splash around £10m on Lyon youngster Myziane Maolida. At just 19 years of age his is someone with great potential and if nurtured properly, this price could look like a real snip in years to come. But spending that sort of money for a club like Nice is risky and the gamble needs to pay off. Elsewhere, Bordeaux signed striker Jimmy Briand from Guingamp and his experience should be useful for Les Girondins. Coming in as his replacement at Guingamp is Ronny Rodelin - someone who has scored 25 goals and provided a dozen assists in his last 3 years in Ligue 1 and should be a strong addition.
Round 2 - key matches
Rodelin could make his debut for Guingamp this weekend but it’ll be a tough one facing PSG at home. Meanwhile, the two new boys could come straight back down to earth after their victories last week. Reims host Lyon on Friday night whilst Nimes face OM in what should hopefully be a Sunday night thriller! Meanwhile, the other standout fixture is the ‘Derby de la Garonne’ in which Toulouse play host to Bordeaux. In what should be a spicy fixture, both sides will be looking to get on the board after each lost their respective round one matches.
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