French Fancies: Steed shines in defeat, Marseille flop, PSG rampant

We're not suggesting Steed had a smoke beforehand

For those who like my occasional updates from the French league, the big news of the weekend was that Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille chose in different ways to reinforce the idea that it is PSG and the rest in Ligue 1.

The logic of money, tons of it, is beginning to sink home. Having been pipped by Montpellier last season, and started this one in fairly incompetent fashion, PSG are now gathering steam and will, I fear, prove unstoppable.

And Marseille, thrashed 4-1 at Valenciennes (the geographic equivalent of Southampton going to the Stadium of Light), added weight to the suspicion that six successive wins flattered to deceive. Anthony Le Tallec, who played a season on loan to Sunderland from Liverpool, scored two of the Valenciennes goals.

Kevin Gameiro grabbed both PSG goals in his first start as the Qatari-owned Parisiens did all that was necessary to dispose of Sochaux. I retain hopes that PSG’s chief rivals will be Lyon, with Steed Malbranque showing outstanding form despite a year out of the game following that bizarre rupture with Saint-Etienne soon after his departure – premature, as I keep saying – from Sunderland.

Steed played well yet again when L’Olympique Lyonnais met Bordeaux – “invaluable skill, linked well with his team-mates,” said one report making him OL’s best player after Clément Grenier – but it was not enough to stop an unexpected home defeat, 2-0 to Bordeaux. Better luck surely awaits OL at Newcastle in Thursday’s Europa League game!

At the bottom of Ligue 1, we have Evian TG, Nancy – the team of my badminton pal Georges le Fishmonger – and Eric Roy’s old club Troyes. Early in the season it may be, but I see Nancy and Troyes struggling through the winter and probably going down, not to be replaced by my city-in-law, Le Mans, hammered 4-0 in their derby game at Angers and won to 11th. How they could do with Sess back.

After a bright start, Dijon, have slipped. Managed by Patrice Carteron – who else remembers that goal he scored for us against Newcastle in 2001? – until he went off in July to embrace adventure and maybe danger as coach of the turbulent African state of Mali, they are outside the top three. Prince Albert of Monaco could probably tell you who was top.

But back to Ligue 1. Guess what’s coming up on Sunday night. Marseille v PSG. Expect crowd trouble, before and after if not during, and – if the OM-supporting physio treating my knee injury is right – a home defeat, putting PSG top and there to stay.

Monsieur Salut, by Matt

sa technique est toujours précieuse au milieu, il a beaucoup combiné avec ses partenaires.

Clément Grenier (6) :

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