French Ligue 1: PSG Defeat Lyon Thanks To Hugo Lloris Error

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PSG Vs. Lyon: 1-0 Full Time, Hosts Capitalize On Rare Hugo Lloris Error

PSG did not bring their finishing boots to their Ligue 1 game with Lyon today, but luckily for them, it didn't appear that Lyon's boots had any useful purpose, at least as far as playing football is concerned. Obviously, there's a chance that Lyon's problems had more to do with the men in the shoes than the shoes themselves tonight at the Parc des Princes, but Claude Puel and company will be looking for someone or something to blame after their poor showing in a 1-0 loss.

Despite their numerous chances throughout the night, PSG took until the 76th minute to finally capitalize on one and put Lyon to the sword. Hugo Lloris was brilliant throughout the game except for in this one moment, when he came out for a free kick in a situation where he should have stayed on his line. He left an empty net as the ball sailed behind him and substitute Ludovic Giuly rushed towards the endline to keep the ball in play. He desperately touched it back in front of the goal, and while down on his knees, defender Zoumana Camera touched the ball in with his knee, giving PSG the goal and ultimately, the win.

With this win, PSG are now just one point behind Lyon for third place and have a very realistic chance of qualifying for the Champions League.


PSG Vs. Lyon: 0-0 Halftime, PSG Wasteful

The names on the lineup cards and the formations of the two teams in this match suggest that PSG are the underdogs, despite playing in front of a great crowd at home. So, it would probably be a good idea if they finished whatever chances they got. Unfortunately for Lyon, they gifted Paris St. Germain a large volume of chances in the first half of their game, but fortunately for Lyon, their opponents' finishing was woeful.

Hugo Lloris was massive in net for Lyon, but there were plenty of places where PSG didn't even make him work when they should have. One chance that stands out is a miss by Nene late in the second half, who screwed a close range volley wide of the near post when he should have very easily hit the target.

Lyon's passing was uncharacteristically poor in the first half, and it would be shocking if that trend continued throughout the game. Lyon will likely play much better in the second half, at which point PSG will regret not taking one of their many opportunities to go ahead.


PSG Vs. Lyon: Lineups

Why yes, I will take this excuse to watch the ageless Claude Makelele play. While not a proper derby, PSG vs. Lyon is considered to be rivalry by some, and at worst, it's an important game between two big teams. It seems like it's been a very long time since PSG has been relevant on the international stage, but they currently sit just four points outside of the final Champions League qualification spot, currently occupied by the team they're playing tonight. So, it's a massive game.

The contrasting styles should make this match interesting, as PSG will likely be a more direct side. The line is lead by their true No. 9 Guillaume Hoarau, while their midfield is anchored by the aforementioned legendary holder, Makelele. Lyon play with a front three of Bafetimbi Gomis, Lisandro Lopez, and Jimmy Briand, while their notable bench players include Cesar Delgado, Ederson, Miralem Pjanic, and Cris, who have not been selected for the match. Here are your lineups.

Paris St. Germain Lineup (4-4-2): Coupet; Armand, Sahko, Camara, Ceara; Chantome, Jallet, Makelele, Nene; Erdinc, Hoarau

Olympique Lyonnais Lineup (4-3-3): Lloris; Cissokho, Toulalan, Lovren, Reveillere; Gonalons, Kallstrom, Gourcuff; Briand, Gomis, Lopez

Kickoff is at 3 pm ET from Parc des Princes.


Marseille Vs. Montpellier: 2-1 Full Time, L'OM Keep Pace With Lille, Lose Loic Remy For League Cup

Marseille have come from behind to defeat Montpellier this afternoon in front of a mostly hostile crowd, but some fantastic away support as well at Stade de la Mosson. The first half was a rather cagey one, but the game came to life in the second half, producing three goals and two massive red cards. These teams face each other in the League Cup final next week, so the red cards handed out to Loic Remy and Abdelhamid El Kaoutari could turn out to be massive.

The opener was scored by Oliver Giroud of Montpellier, who apparently dreams of playing in the English Premier League. After his great left-footed finish from just inside the penalty area, the big target man could be realizing that dream sooner rather than later.

The joy of the Montpellier supporters was short lived, though, as Benoit Cheyrou would set up an unbelievable goal in the 69th minute, five minutes after Giroud's tally. Cheyrou, who has been L'OM's most in form midfielder, started the move with a spectacular 60 yard long ball to Andre-Pierre Gignac, who did well to pick up the ball and set himself up for a classy finish to tie the game.

Things got crazy 10 minutes later, as Loic Remy drew a penalty when he was held in the box, preventing him from getting to a rebound after Andre Ayew had a shot saved magnificently by Geoffrey Jourdren. Not satisfied with just the penalty, Remy felt the need to confront Abdelhamid El Kaoutari, who had been holding and trash talking him on more than one occasion. Both players said some unkind words and exchanged some minor slaps, leading the referee to show red cards to both of them. As a result, both players will be suspended for the League Cup final. Ayew stepped up to take the penalty, and he converted, giving Marseille a 2-1 lead, which is where the scoring would end.

With their win, Marseille keep pace with league leaders Lille, and are only one point off first place.


Marseille Vs. Montpellier: 0-0 Halftime, But Not Dull

At halftime, Marseille and Montpellier are locked up in a 0-0 draw that has been surprisingly watchable, despite a lack of clear cut chance. This is also the description that can be used for basically every Ligue 1 game in the history of ever. Marseille and Montpellier are both working hard and passing well, but both teams are defending well and keeping their shape, limiting the number of total chances in the match.

Montpellier will be wanting the match to stay just the way it is, but unfortunately for them, Marseille have a loaded bench. Andre Ayew is almost certain to figure at some point. However, Marseille don't have much in the way of attack minded substitutes available in the center of midfield, so Lucho Gonzalez is simply going to need to up his game. 

Could Didier Deschamps go absolutely pants-on-head crazy and drop Mathieu Valbuena into the midfield, behind Andre-Pierre Gignac, Loic Remy, and Ayew? No, there's actually no way that will happen, but I can dream, can't I?


Marseille Vs. Montpellier: Lineups

Marseille don't have Brandao available to them, but otherwise, Didier Deschamps has a strong side to pick from. After Lille won yesterday, Marseille are very much in need of three points against Montpellier to keep pace with their main rivals in the Ligue 1 title race. Montpellier have fallen behind a bit recently in the race for Europa League spots, but they are not completely out of that race and points against Marseille would go a long way towards getting them into Europe next season. Here are the lineups.

Marseille lineup (4-3-3): Mandanda; Taiwo, Heinze, Diawara, Fanni; Mbia, Cheyrou, Gonzalez; Valbuena, Gignac, Remy

Montpellier lineup (4-3-3): Jourdren; Jeunechamp, Bocaly, Yangambiwa, El Kaoutari; Pitau, Marveaux, Belhanda; Utaka, Camera, Giroud

Both teams play an attacking 4-3-3 setup that is not one of those 4-5-1 hybrids; both teams play with three strikers. Deschamps has opted to leave both Ayew brothers on the bench, and his midfield is an attack-minded one. Basically, in every selection decision that Deschamps had to make, he chose the attacking option. So, it should make for an entertaining game.


Ligue 1 Preview, Week 31: Lyon And PSG Look To Keep Title Hopes Alive

It's getting down to the wire in Ligue 1, and Lille, Marseille and Lyon in a heated battle right at the top of the table and Lyon, Stade Rennes and Paris-Saint Germain all still within striking distance. The Paris Saint-Germain vs Lyon clash at Parc des Prince ends the weekend on a high note, while league leaders Lille face a major trap-threat in hosting Bordeaux and second-place Marseille face a tough test away against Montpellier. And Arles hosts Valenciennes! What a cracker that ought to be!


Lens vs. Brest 

Time: 1:00 EST

Lens are trying to claw their way out of the relegation zone while Brest are fighting desperately to avoid it. It's been a tough stretch of games for Lens-they've taken only six points from their last ten games-but that shouldn't come as much surprise seeing as how they've been quite odious all season long. Third from bottom in terms of goals scored and second from bottom in terms of goals allowed is a recipe for awfulness. They're a side that Brest should be glad to visit as a pointless (in the literal sense and, if we're honest,  the figurative sense as well) March has left them in a somewhat uncomfortable position just three points above the drop. They're probably not in serious danger, but a win would certainly take a bit of the pressure off. Brest's solid away form (as well as their being roughly mediocre as opposed to awful) gives them the edge here.

Pick: Brest 2-0

Nice vs. AS Monaco

Time: 1:00 EST

In other games with relegation scrap implications, AS Monaco look to keep their strong form rolling on the heels of a surprising 1-0 victory over league leaders Lille. Looking at raw numbers it's baffling as to how Monaco are this close to the bottom; despite a fairly horrid attack they've defended well and sit even on goal differential. Nice meanwhile look to be right around where one would think, but they can't score against bad defenses so there's no reason to think they'll be able to crack Monaco's back line. If anyone scores there should be a party.

Pick: 0-0

Sochaux vs. Caen

Time: 1:00 EST

This is probably a weekend that Caen are going to need some help from their fellow lower-table sides if they hope to avoid moving backwards. The last time this fixture was played Sochaux put a 3-0 whipping on the home side and while it's nice to think that Caen are going to use that as motivation to pull off the upset and pull themselves towards safety...yeah.

Pick: Sochaux 3-1

St. Etienne vs. AS Nancy Lorraine

Time: 1:00 EST

St. Etienne are in that really boring part of the table where, at this point, there's not a whole lot at stake. The odds of relegation are slim and the odds of European qualification are even slimmer. Sometimes I wish the coaches of teams in their situation would do something wacky, like play a 2-3-5 complete with period dress, or play a 4-4-2 but instead of strikers, play with three goalkeepers. I mean, I know two of them couldn't use their hands or wear a keeper's shirt but it would be worth it to see how the TV stations figured out how to graphically interpret the formation. They should make a 'Bored Mid-Table Coach' expansion pack for the next football manager.

Pick: St. Etienne 2-1

Stades Rennes vs. Lorient

Time: 1:00 EST

Stades Rennes look to keep their Champions League hopes alive against a Lorient side whose record on the year (10-10-10, 40 points, +1 GD) is just one goal allowed from making them the favorite team of obsessive compulsives the world over. As it is they're so maddeningly close to perfect symmetry that I really feel like I need to go and turn off the lights right now. And I should probably wash my hands while I'm up.

Pick: Stades Rennes 1-0

Lille vs. Bordeaux

Time: 3:00 EST

2011 has not been kind to Bordeaux; 2010 wasn't all that nice when you think about it, but it was slightly better and these past two months have been all kinds of unpleasant. Lille, meanwhile, had been rolling before dropping a 1-0 away loss to AS Monaco. There are a lot of things about this game that make people think that Bordeaux will win; Lille are 'vulnerable' because they lost a tough away game to a team that is where they are in the table due in no small part to poor luck. Bordeaux are dangerous because they've 'underachieved' which is shorthand for people saying they aren't as good as they thought they'd be. And the reality is, Bordeaux could very well win this game, because they're not all that bad of a team, and if they do a bunch of really annoying people will go on and on about how they 'called it' or somesuch. Luckily, that probably isn't going to happen.

Pick: Lille 3-1


Arles vs. Valenciennes

Time: 1:00 EST

Arles has a goal differential of -41.

Pick: Valenciennes 3-0

Montpelier vs. Marseille

Time: 1:00 EST

Marseille don't seem especially fond of the idea of losing their league title and they've been in very strong form as of late and with Lille still well within sight this is very much a massive game for the holders. If I were them I'd bust out the special kits and shock Montpellier into submission with my awesome rainbow powers. This is the first meeting of two between these teams in the space of a week with the Coupe de la Ligue Final being contested Saturday the 23rd. Hopefully something interesting and/or controversial will happen in this contest so the build up will be exciting and not at all annoying in the least.

Pick: Marseille 3-2

Paris Saint-Germain vs. Lyon

Time: 3:00 EST

This is the match of the week, PSG clinging to slim Champions League hopes and even slimmer title hopes while Lyon look to keep the pressure on the teams at the top. Lyon have shaken off an uncharacteristically poor start and have stormed back to well within striking distance of the title, while PSG would climb to within one point of Lyon (who currently occupy third and the final Champions League spot) with a victory. If you're waiting for me to say something snarky, I'm afraid you're going to be let down. This should be a pretty great match.

Pick: Lyon 2-1

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