And there lies the ripple effect of the previous week. It was always going to be interesting to see how Monaco would react after last weekend’s chastening at Paris Saint-Germain, that humiliating 7-1 loss as they watched PSG become the new champions at their expense. So when they travelled to Guingamp on Saturday, all eyes would be on whether or not they could bounce back.
But midway through the first 45 minutes, things would start to go awry, defender Jorge guilty of handling Marcus Thuram’s shot on the goal-line, leading to an inevitable sending off after a penalty was awarded. Jimmy Briand stepped up and buried the spot-kick from 12 yards. And with less than 10 minutes of the half left, it got worse for Monaco, Etienne Didot doubling the hosts’ advantage on the day.
Monaco were staring defeat in the face, and their fate was sealed only three minutes after the interval, Thuram getting on the scoresheet to put the gloss on a great day for the little Ligue 1 club. That win takes Guingamp up to 10th place, and only five points off fifth place. As for Monaco, despite Almamy Toure getting a consolation goal in the game, a second defeat in succession means they are now only a point ahead of Marseille and Lyon in the race for Champions League football, and a spot that seemed sure-fire now looks under serious threat.
For Marseille, it was an enjoyable afternoon when they hosted relegation-threatened Lille on Saturday as well. L’OM had a near-perfect first half at the Velodrome, Florian Thauvin putting them in front after 12 minutes, then doubling the advantage on the hour mark. Kostas Mitroglou added goals three and four, both coming eight minutes after Thauvin’s second, to ensure a 4-0 lead at the break. Yassine Benzia grabbed a consolation for Lille, but Lucas Ocampos put the icing on the cake for Marseille in the 68th minute, as Rudi Garcia’s team warmed up nicely for their Europa League semi-final with Salzburg.
Elsewhere, Memphis Depay continued his bright form with a goal in Lyon’s 5-2 win at Dijon, Nabil Fekir also getting on the score-sheet, his first goal since returning from injury.
Nick Pallois’ late own goal denied Nantes at home to Rennes, as both sides now lie outside the European spots, while Giovani Lo Celso’s goal was the difference for PSG at Bordeaux.
St. Etienne are up to sixth after Robert Beric’s double took them past Troyes, Amiens just about secured safety with a 3-1 win against Strasbourg, while Metz could only draw at home to Caen, and Nice go up to fifth after a narrow win over Montpellier.
Guingamp 3-1 Monaco
Bordeaux 0-1 PSG
Metz 1-1 Caen
Marseille 5-1 Lille
Nice 1-0 Montpellier
Nantes 1-1 Rennes
St. Etienne 2-1 Troyes
Dijon 2-5 Lyon
Toulouse 2-0 Angers
Amiens 3-1 Strasbourg