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Ligue 1: Never Count Drama Out When Le Classique is on the Slate

“Our aim is to win, to keep getting closer to the title and to beat our rivals. We want to go to Marseille to be competitive, and we are concentrating on our strengths, on what we know how to do, to win matches.”

“I’m very aware of the importance of Le Classique for the players, the fans and the club. My job is to ensure that everything goes as well as possible for us.”

These are the words of PSG manager Luis Enrique before they marched to a hostile Stade Veldrome to face their archrivals Marseille for the biggest rivalry in Ligue 1 history.

Marseille came into the clash against their arch-nemesis in hopes of capturing their first home win against PSG since 2011. Their hopes seemed like they were close to fruition, especially when PSG’s Lucas Beraldo was sent off five minutes before the half.

Unfortunately for Gasset’s outfit, they took too long to get hot and capitalise with their man advantage, as they found themselves trailing after Vitinha scored the opening goal of the Le Classique.

Despite their 22 attempts at the goal, Marseille couldn’t get past PSG’s man between the sticks. They dominated the attempts, whether tepid or convincing, but they instead found themselves down by two goals after Gonçalo Ramos scored the nail on the coffin with a stunning strike in the dying minutes of the match.

PSG’s championship poise and towering quality of players were able to be the X factor in this tie. Braving the roaring crowd at Veldrome, Luis Enrique and his men showed no signs of hesitation or fear, even with their man disadvantage.

PSG overcoming a red card early in the game and still putting up a flawless match after the fact is the clearest attestation as to why they’re on a clear path to winning the league this season. With 12 points clear of second-placed Brest, PSG remain the SBOTOP Ligue 1 2024 betting odds favourites to champion the top flight at this stage of the campaign.

Is this a glimpse of life at PSG without the production of Mbappe? If so, they have no cause for concern.


Brest reclaim the second spot

Brest were going through a rough patch going into their match against relegation candidates Lorient. They were able to garner just two points in their last two top-flight fixtures after tallying a draw with Nice and falling short against Lens, as a result, they fell down to the third spot in the league standings.

But thanks to Ramain Del Castillo’s late heroics, Brest managed to capture their first three points in their last three outings, recapturing the second seed in the table to boot.

Brest fended off 11 shots by Lorient and braved being down a man in extra minutes thanks to a Billal Brahimi red card minutes before the final whistle sounded. Despite these, they still managed to produce winning Ligue 1 2024 results and claimed a 1-0 clean sheet victory against a struggling Lorient squad.

This year’s surprise package, Brest, remain on course for Champions League qualification and closes their gap to league leaders PSG, but Ligue 1 glory is still a far dream for Eric Roy and his club, as they still need to cover 12 points to catch up to Luis Enrique’s PSG.


Monaco wins seven-game thriller

Metz and Monaco claimed the highest aggregate in the most recent Ligue 1 slate, as the inspired outfits caught fire and combined for a total of seven goals during the historic clash at Stade Saint-Symphorien.

Folarin Balogun will aim to help Monaco win their upcoming matches and climb up in the Ligue 1 table
Monaco’s Folarin Balogun celebrates their fourth goal against Metz

It was a career night for USMNT striker Folarin Balogun, who scored two rapid-fire goals to close out the match. His sudden burst of offencive ingenuity was just the cherry on top of what was already a stellar showing from the visiting squad, as three Monaco players started to get to work early and scored one goal apiece, basically closing the door on Metz in their own stadium by mounting a three-goal lead by minute 16 in the first half.

A late surge by Diallo and Sane put Metz back in contention, slimming the deficit down to just one goal, but here comes Balogun with his magnum opus and thumped the rallying Metz with a brace, ending the highly-contested clash with a 2-5 score line.

With this win, Monaco keep the pressure on Brest in the standings, and they keep their pace to qualify for the Champions League next campaign. Meanwhile, Metz find themselves deeper in the relegation hole, failing to garner a single point in their last two games. And it doesn’t help their cause that they’ll be going up against an inspired Brest outfit in their next Ligue 1 tie.


 

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