Just a couple of days ago, Paris Saint-Germain were a club on the verge of crisis. Or, at least, that's what all the papers would like you to think. Lots of money, but mediocre results has been the story at Parc des Princes this season. The papers are going to have to find a new narrative after Round 19, as PSG are top of the table heading into the holiday break. All of their main rivals dropped points, leaving them top by three points.
AS Nancy 1-3 Marseille
Marseille are continuing their surge up the table after a terrible start, and they're just eight points off the top after defeating Nancy. Mathieu Valbuena scored the opener on a great goal, assisted by Loic Remy in the 18th minute. Reynald Lemaitre stunned the visitors with a 37th minute goal, but Stephane M'Bia scored the eventual game-winner four minutes later, heading in a cross from Morgan Amalfitano. Lucho Gonzalez added another goal in garbage time.
Evian 4-2 Montpellier
Incredibly, this is only the second most bizarre result of Round 19. Table toppers Montpellier absolutely fell apart, giving away both a 1-0 lead and a 2-1 lead in quick succession. After a scoreless first half, Younes Belhanda put Montpellier up in the 47th minute. Cedrick Barbosa equalized in the 52nd, but Oliver Giraud grabbed his 13th of the year just two minutes later, beating the offside trap and scoring with a chip.
Then, things got really crazy. Evian scored three goals in seven minutes between the 68th and 75th minutes to take a 4-2 lead. Montpellier wouldn't recover.
Lille 4-4 Nice
This is far and away the most ridiculous and bizarre result in Europe this week. The first half featured five goals total, while Nice scored the final equalizer in the 94th minute. The two sides traded goals in the opening 35 minutes, with both teams scoring twice. Aurelien Chedjou and Joe Cole netted for Lille in the 9th and 27th minutes, while Renato Civelli and Franck Djadjede netted for Nice in the 16th and 35th. Djadjede would score a second in the 45th, putting his team up 3-2 at halftime.
Nice's Eric Mouloungui was sent off in the 71st minute, setting up a dramatic finish. Eden Hazard scored the equalizer in the 81st minute before Florent Balmont scored a goal worthy of being the winner in such a fantastic contest, with a great half-volley strike in the 88th minute. It wasn't to be, however, as Francois Clerc would go on to score an equalizer in the 94th minute, smashing in a goal after some terrible set piece defending by Lille.
By the way, Mickael Landreau and David Ospina are both brilliant goalkeepers.
Valenciennes 1-0 Lyon
This is not a good way to head into the winter break. Valenciennes won their third straight match at home, thanks to a terrible 28th minute own goal. On a Valenciennes free kick, Bafetimbi Gomis attempted to clear the ball, but hit Aly Cissokho. Cissokho inadvertently hit the ball into his own net. After an even first half, Lyon were the better looking side in the second half as the hosts tried to sit on their lead. They did a great job of doing so, as Lyon managed just three shots on target.
St. Etienne 0-1 Paris Saint-Germain
This one just came down to plain bad luck for ASSE, along with a brilliant performance by PSG goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu. Mathieu Bodmer put his side ahead with a header in the 32nd minute, but the home side had more opportunities to score after that. Sirigu made a number of fantastic late saves as ASSE absolutely assaulted his net with shots, but were somehow unable to find a goal.
Auxerre 2-2 Dijon
Lorient 0-0 Caen
Sochaux 0-2 Ajaccio
Rennes 1-0 Bordeaux
Toulouse 0-0 Brest