2013/14 France Ligue 1: Week One recap

Alexandre Lacazette of Olympique Lyonnias

Dimitri Payet of Olympique de Marseille

Radamel Falcao of AS Monaco FC

Montpellier Herault SC 1-1 Paris Saint-Germain FC

The 2013/14 season kicked off with a match-up between the defending champion Paris Saint-Germain and Montpellier Herault SC. Ligue 1 comes into the season ranked as the sixth best league in Europe by UEFA. They finished last year with a total of 59.000 points. Portugal's top league finished in fifth with 59.168 points. The clubs of Ligue 1 will look to have a stellar year in European competitions so they can jump up to fifth. If they have a really good year they could even challenge Italy's Serie A for the fourth spot. Serie A finished last season with 64.147 points.

France has five of their clubs ranked in the top 50 clubs in Europe. The problem is none of them are in the top 10. For the rankings of the clubs over the last five years Olympique Lyonnais is ranked 12th. They are followed by Olympique Marseille(16th), Paris Saint-Germain(19th), FC Girondins de Bordeaux(34th) and LOSC Lille(49th). Now remember this over the last five years so a club like AS Monaco who stocked up on talent this off season is easily one of the best 50 clubs playing in Europe.

So to Friday's action. Montpellier Herault SC scored the first goal of the season when R. Cabella scored in the 10th minute against Paris Saint-Germain. PSG would level the score in the 60th minute when Maxwell scored. A. ElKaoutari of Montpellier was given a red card in 72nd minute after picking up his second yellow card of the game. PSG could not capitalize and would settle for the 1-1 draw to start the season.

Does Paris Saint-Germain repeat as Champions

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Ligue 1 Table

1.
Olympique Lyonnias
3 pts +4
2.
Valenciennes FC
3 pts +3
3.
Olympique de Marseille
3 pts +2
4.
AS Monaco FC
3 pts +2
5.
FC Nantes
3 pts +2
6.
Stade Rennais FC
3 pts +1
7.
LOSC Lille
3 pts +1
8.
AS Saint-Etienne
3 pts +1

Olympique Lyonnais 4-0 OGC Nice, FC Girandins de Bordeaux 0-2 AS Monaco FC

Seven matches took place on Saturday August 10th. Probably the biggest match involved AS Monaco. Everyone wanted to see how all that talent they brought in would mesh. For their first match they traveled to play FC Girondins de Bordeaux. For the first 82 minutes neither club could manage a score as both clubs were feeling each other out. Finally in 82nd minute E. Riviere scored to give Monaco a 1-0 lead. R. Falcao would score five minutes later as AS Monaco FC opened the season with a 2-0 road win.

LOSC Lille got a very early goal from D. Origi in the 13th minute to defeat FC Lorient 1-0. L. Gassama of Lorient was sent off in 83rd minute after being shown his second yellow card of the match.

Stade Rennais FC got a late goal from M. Erdinc to open the season with a 2-1 home win over Stade de Reims. V. Pajot scored in the ninth minute to put Rennais ahead but Reims answered before the half when G. Krychowiak scored. Erdinc would score the winning goal in 85th minute for Rennais.

All Olympique Lyonnais needed was one goal but they got four in their 4-0 thrashing of OGC Nice. A. Lacazette scored twice for Lyon to go along with goals from C. Grenier and Y. Gourcuff. That winning margin is enough to give them the early lead in the title race.

Valenciennes FC scored three goals after Toulouse FC was dropped to ten men to win at home. In the 35th minute Toulouse player U. Spajic was given a direct red card and Valenciennes never looked back. M. Melikson would convert penalty shot in 37th minute that was followed by second half goals from J. Saez and G. Pujol.

FC Nantes opened the new season with a 2-0 home victory over SC Bastia. F. Dordevic put the home club up with his goal in 23rd minute. Nantes looked to hold on for the 1-0 victory but J. Palmieri of Bastia scored an own goal in stoppage time to give Nantes the 2-0 win.

In the only match on Saturday that ended in a draw Evian Thonon Gaillard FC got an early goal from F. Ehret(4th) to take a 1-0 lead. R. Contout of FC Sochaux-Montbeliard scored in the 54th minute to level the match. The match would end in a 1-1 draw as each club left with one point.

What it all means

The season is long and will be a tough battle for every club. You can not win the title in week one but you can set the tone of how you wanna tackle the year. Great wins for Olympique Lyonnais, Valenciennes FC and Olympique de Marseille. It is always great to start the season at home and get that early win and give your fans something to cheer about. AS Monaco FC got probably the biggest win during week one. With the pressure on them after spending all that money in off season to get a 2-0 road win is just what they needed. Paris Saint-Germain might have only got a draw but they should not panic. The season will have many ups and down for most clubs just try and play thru them and you will be fine.

If i had to pick a champion right now I would go with Olympique Lyonnais. With that said i do think it will be a four club battle for the title in what could be the best title chase out of all the European Leagues.

EA Guingamp 1-3 Olympique de Marseille

Both matches on Sunday August 11th went to the road club. AS Saint-Etienne received a goal from Brandao in 34th minute to defeat AC Ajaccio 1-0. B. Andre of Ajaccio was sent of in the first minute of stoppage time after receiving his second yard card of match.

Olympique de Marseille took a 3-0 lead after only 18 minutes on the road to stun EA Guningamp. Marseille would not score again as they defeated the home club 3-1. A. Gignac scored only two minutes in for Marseille. D. Payet netted two for Marseille with goals in fourth and 18th minutes. M. Yatabare of Guingamp scored in 74th minute to give the home crowd something to cheer about.


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