Stop press: Dec 2 – PSG lose at Nice – YES!! – while Steed’s Lyon beat Montpellier to go five points clear at the top pending Marseille’s later game …
French Fancies makes a brief appearance amid all the understandable glee inspired by only Sunderland’s second victory of the season. Fans of Steed Malbranque and Adam Johnson, and all who disapprove of moneybags PSG, will like this one …
Today I came across a churlish French report of Lyon’s 3-0 victory over Reims that echoed last night’s debate at the Blackcats list on Sunderland’s 3-1 win at Fulham.
Someone at the list – he is almost always an astute observer of matters SAFC – was saying Adam Johnson had a stinker; OK, not quite that bad, but these are not words of praise, “Johnson was again pretty naff”.
This was the same Adam Johnson whose perfect pass set up Steven Fletcher for the first goal and whose excellent corner found the head of Carlos Cuellar. And we should not mock praise for a player mastering such a basic element of footballing technique; corners are not something we get right too often. And wasn’t it also AJ that had a great shot of his own magnificently saved by Mark Schwarzer?
And so to Ligue 1. I said l’Olympique Lyonnais (OL) offered the best hope of frustrating filthy rich Paris Saint-Germain this season as Montpellier did last season.
The weekend ended with OL top as they brushed aside Reims. Two of the three goals came from fine work by Steed Malbranque, the first a clinical cross from which Gomis scored at the second attempt, his first shot hitting the bar, and the second an exquisite defence-splitting ball to send Lisandro clear.
Time for some more lavish tributes to our resurgent old boy?
Not quite. “Even if he made the decisive pass for Lisandro’s goal, he was not up to his usual standard and made some bad choices,” read the player-by-player assessment at football.fr.
These are the kind alleged “off-days”, Steed’s and AJ’s, that supporters probably learn to live with.
Up in Paris, Rennes were down to nine men for 40 minutes but still beat PSG 2-1. Carlo Ancelotti said afterwards he was not afraid to talk of crisis and everyone who does not support his club probably smiled.