Nice go clear as French Ligue 1 is shaping up to be the best in years

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It was a weekend in France where you had to catch your breath on several occasions. Surprise league leaders Nice won again, all conquering Monaco fell to pieces at home to Lyon and then the shocks of shocks was seeing PSG lose again this time to Guingamp who have a population of roughly 7,000 souls.

First to Nice who as expected overcame Dijon in the south of France with the help of a returning Mario Balotelli who scored both of their goals in a 2-1 win. Balotelli has been a reinvented player since swapping the Premier League for Ligue 1 and it is for now paying dividends for Nice. The club has now pulled out a four point lead at the top and have lost just once all season. They will be looking to win the league for the first time in almost 60 years.

Monaco took on Lyon meanwhile and whilst this has in recent years been one of the stand out fixtures and closest, Monaco were expected to win. But Lyon who have had plenty of their own troubles this season rewound the clock back a decade to when they dominated the league and there was only ever going to be one winner.

The visitors were in total control from the first minute and a lacklustre and off key Monaco who had averaged 3 goals a game going into this were soundly beaten 3-1. To add salt to the wounds Benjamin Mendy was given a straight red card and will now miss the next three league fixtures.

And then there is PSG, a team who are undoubtedly a shadow of themselves from last season. This time last year PSG had an 11 point advantage at the top now they find themselves in 3rd place and 7 points adrift of Nice. Their 4th defeat of the season and two in the last three games came at the hands of Guingamp who themselves are having a terrific season. It took the French champions to go two goals down before we saw any kind of reaction. With ten minutes to go Edinson Cavani who is having an outstanding last few weeks pulled a goal back. But it was all in vain. PSG have now gone 3 matches without a win and the pressure is mounting on coach Unai Emery, with some suggesting a loss against Lorient in midweek will spell the end of his short term in charge of the Parisians.

Finally we shouldn’t forget about the 2010 champions Marseille who have re-awoken after a slumber start, they now have 3 wins in a row under their belt and are serious contenders to hunt for a European place.

With recent seasons being dominated by PSG and then before by Lyon this one is really turning out to be something else. There are three genuine contenders for the title in Nice, Monaco and PSG and as this weekend has proven any one of them can lose in any given game. All of a sudden Ligue 1 has become exciting and unpredictable and that can only be a major plus in a league which has been crying out for this since the turn of the century.

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