Lille edged past Monaco in what was a very intense game in the mid-week kick-offs, which also saw Stade Brestois narrowly beat Metz in their fixture. On the other hand, Strasbourg and Montpellier registered wins in their matches while Reims and Nantes shared points in an intriguing contest.
FC Metz 1 - 2 Stade Brestois 29
Stade Brestois improved their position as far as the league table is concerned, handing Metz a 1-2 defeat at their own den. Attacks came one after the other and the first half had all the ingredients of a blockbuster, except the goals were not scored by any of the sides. Going into the break on level there was plenty to play for in the second period.
The re-start did not disappoint as the box-to-box action continued throughout as we approached the last quarter of the game. Just when the game was moving towards a stalemate, Metz’s first goal in the 79th minute just sprung back the game to life. Brestois levelled in the 86th minute of the game and subsequently scored the winner in the 93rd minute to walk away with full points. The visitors registered 17 shots at the goal, compared to Metz’s 12.
OGC Nice 0 - 1 Montpellier HSC
Montpellier kept the pressure on the top six for a Europa League spot by edging past Nice by a 1-0 win in the weekday kick-off. The fate of the match was decided in the first quarter of the game itself, with the visitors scoring the first goal and the winner in the 13th minute of the game, following a spell which saw them dominate the proceedings. The goal woke Nice from slumber as they changed gears and took charge of the game until the half-time whistle was blown.
The second half was equally contested with a fair share of opportunities created, but there are some days when goals just don't come and today proved to be that that day for Nice. Montpellier held on to the lead till the end of the game to grab top honours. Statistically, the winning team was better too, with a total of 13 shots on goal against Nice’s 9.
Reims FC 1 - 1 FC Nantes
Well, there was nothing much to differentiate between these two sides and the 1-1 result was justified. Nantes took charge of the horse in the opening stages of the games hurled in shots at the goal eventually leading to the first strike in the 20th minute of the game. Reims buckled up after conceding, which saw them change the tide towards their favour and within 10 minutes, they were awarded a penalty, which eventually made the scores level once again.
The rest of the game was pretty stereotypical, with both sides creating enough chances, only to see them go is waste at the end. Reims, chasing a continental spot would be more affected by the two points lost than Nantes. Stats wise, there was negligible, with Nantes taking15 shots on goal compared to Reims 13, but they registered only 55 dangerous attacks compared to Reims 63.
Saint Etienne FC 1 - 2 Strasbourg FC
Saint Ettiene’s campaign hit a new low as they were outwitted by Strasbourg at home, which saw them plunge to the 17th spot in the standings. Rather surprisingly, the first half was an exciting affair with both sides creating enough chances to keep the game alive and kicking. It was the hosts who managed to hurt the scoreline and take the lead in the 38th minute.
The mid-break pep talk was just what the doctor ordered for Strasbourg, as they came out with much more intent and inflicted their first goal in the 59th minute. While the onus was on the hosts not to let the game slip away, the wrath of the Strasbourg attackers let that happen eventually, with the visitors netting the winner in the 91st minute. Strasbourg took 13 shots at the goal and registered 63 dangerous attacks, while the hosts had a count of 13 shots going along with 52 dangerous attacks.
LOSC Lille 1 - 0 AS Monaco
The battle between the fourth and the sixth-placed teams would always bring in a lot of promise with it and it didn't disappoint. Neither sides gave any scope for error in the first half, which saw high-pressing football. But, it was Lille who walked with an advantage in the mid-way break after a 48th-minute strike. The first period saw as many as 14 shots fired towards the goal by both sides combined.
To sum it up, Lille owned the second half and deservedly held on the lead, even though they created quite a few chances in the game. Monaco never managed to put up a fight which would inspire them to a comeback and so went back home with no points from the fixture. The hosts were by far the better team, with 17 shots on goal, compared to Monaco’s 8. They even spent 20 seconds per attack on average against the visitors’ 12.