Breathless, AS Monaco came up against poorly ranked Lorient (0-0) on Sunday and let 4th Strasbourg slip away, effective in Angers (1-0), in a Ligue 1 to which Saint-Etienne clings, out of the red zone after overthrowing Clermont (1-0).
– Monaco without idea –
The Monegasques stalled at Louis-II, a week after sinking OL (2-0). This setback eliminated Philippe Clément’s team in 6th place, between Rennes (5th) and Lyon (7th), with the same number of points.
A link in the standings was however within firing range against visitors from Lorient who came in principle with, in their luggage, a negative balance of seven consecutive away defeats in the Championship.
Too predictable, too slow, AS Monaco made a disappointing and frustrating copy. This allows Nice to maintain a five-point lead, despite losing 2-0 at Lyon the day before.
“The ranking? It’s always the same! We have to stay focused on ourselves. And do the maximum each time to win,” commented Belgian coach Philippe Clement, appointed at the start of January.
Worst team of the season outside before this trip, Lorient turned their backs and improved their victory against Lens (2-0) last week.
“We bent, but we did not break,” rejoiced coach Christophe Pelissier. “We are launched in our maintenance operation”.
– Saint-Etienne, life in green –
Maintaining it again becomes an attainable dream for Saint-Etienne, overthrowing Clermont (2-1) and credited with three consecutive successes after promising victories against Angers and Montpellier.
The Greens, led 1-0 kept at the break, have a cool head before belatedly beating the promoted Auvergne by Mahdi Camara (71st) and Timothée Kolodziejczak (82nd).
Pascal Dupraz’s team leaves the red zone by climbing to 18th place, that of play-off, with 21 points. But Metz (19th, 20 pts) and Bordeaux (20th, 20 pts) can double it again in the evening, depending on their respective results against Marseille and Lens.
The sequel, however, promises to be tough for Saint-Etienne with, on the menu for the second half of February, the reception of Strasbourg and a trip to the leader Paris Saint-Germain.
The Clermontois are 15th with three points ahead of Troyes (16th), heavily defeated 5-1 in Brest.
Trojan captain Adil Rami reduced the gap just before the break (45th, 1-2), but he fell on two opponents in even better shape: Uruguayan striker Martin Satriano, on loan this winter from Inter Milan , offered himself a double in the first period, before Franck Honorat imitated him in the second.
– Strasbourg sticks Nice –
At the top of the table, Strasbourg is one of the winners of the weekend. The 1-0 win at Angers propels Julien Stéphan’s side just one point behind third-placed Nice.
The Alsatians raced in the lead after a superb volley signed Kevin Gameiro (11th), the fifth but in four consecutive league games for the former striker from Paris, Sevilla or Valencia.
Sunday afternoon, Nantes pocketed a narrow 1-0 victory against Reims, whose central defender and captain Yunis Abdelhamid were sent off in the first quarter of an hour for too brutal an intervention against Fabio. The whistled foul gave birth to a free kick that Moïse Simon (17th) transformed directly.
The Canaries are eighth, two points behind OL.