Ligue 1 Player of the Week – Luiz Araujo (Lille)


Time now to take a look at which Ligue 1 star topped all the others this week, and without beating about the bush this week’s best is Lille striker Luiz Araujo. The 21-year-old has had a slightly indifferent start to life in France after arriving last summer, signing from Sao Paulo. This past weekend, however, as Lille welcomed Metz to Stade Pierre-Mauroy Araujo showed exactly why he was so coveted.Scoring one goal and setting up another, Araujo was instrumental as Lille recorded a vital 3-1 home win against their fellow strugglers.

The match may not have had too much hype in the run-up, with second bottom hosting bottom of the league, but Lille showed themselves the superior side as Araujo opened the scoring after just 12 minutes, making a clever run in behind the defence and coolly slotting underneath the advancing Eiji Kawashima.

The lead remained slender for the rest of the first half until, seconds before the interval, Araujo knocked on a first time pass forward to Nicolas Pepe, with his back to goal. Pepe turned it masterfully and chipped a curler past Kawashima’s right hand side. While the Japanese keeper got a hand to it, it wasn’t enough to keep the ball from hitting the back of the net and doubling the hosts’ advantage just before the end of the first half.

Nolan Roux pulled one back for Metz to offer a glimmer of hope for the visitors, before Yves Bissouma restored the two goal advantage with around 15 minutes left to keep Lille within touching distance of safety at the lower end of Ligue 1. They now sit just three points behind 17th placed Strasbourg with three games remaining, while Metz are now six points adrift and can potentially be relegated within the next round of games.

It also has to be said that Araujo’s fine performance was only complemented by his linkup play with fellow goalscorer Pepe. The midfielder was a fine presence for the struggling side to have on board, and an important factor in all three of his side’s goals. Araujo just pips it to this week’s Ligue 1 Player of the Week, though, as his first goal for Lille could prove a springboard to get his side up for a real relegation battle in the final few weeks of the season. Araujo has never really been a wonderful goalscorer, but if he can use the momentum from this outing to propel his performance level then it could prove a great time to hit form and show Ligue 1 that he truly belongs.

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