Another day, another Ligue 1 season in the bag. Paris Saint-Germain may have wrapped the title up a good while ago, but there was still plenty of entertainment on display as teams battled for, well….fairly little really. Save for the battle for second and third place between Marseille, Lyon and Monaco, there was little left undecided going into the final round of games. Monaco won that race, incidentally – though for them to finish fourth would have taken a disastrous afternoon indeed. Lyon snuck into third, with Marseille settling for the Europa League spot, despite scoring more and conceding less than the two sides immediately above them. The best show in France, however, was staged at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, where 33,665 people turned out to watch hosts Saint-Etienne hammer struggling Lille 5-0.
Make no mistake, that is a result that would have crushed Lille fans. Not only was it a poor showing from the visitors, but it could have relegated them had they not wrapped up their survival just seven short days previously, ensuring Toulouse would be the third side relegated. Toulouse won their respective match 2-1 at home against Guingamp, so it was certainly a close call. Not only will the result have elated the home support, however, but the display of one player in particular will offer cause for optimism for the future. Should Saint-Etienne keep hold of midfielder Romain Hamouma, then if he can reproduce this kind of display surely Les Verts can hope for a better season next time around?
The 31-year-old Frenchman was outstanding, scoring a hattrick. Two of those assists came from Ole Selnaes, and Jonathan Bamba provided the third (having opened the scoring himself just seven minutes into proceedings). A gutting own goal by Kevin Malcuit rounded off the scoring, but at that stage there were still 25 minutes to go, so the hosts would likely have fancied themselves to bag another goal or two. A good stat from Hamouma’s hattrick here is that he more than doubled his tally for the season, having scored just twice all season previous to this game. The thing is, though, now he has done it – he knows he can score goals, and what a time to put in a performance of this standard, with the sun rapidly setting on another successful campaign.
Hamouma has enjoyed a good amount of playing time this season, making 22 starts and turning out seven times from the bench. This game, however, showed that he really does have the capability to push Saint-Etienne forward, and grab a goal when the opportunity falls his way. PSG may have won the Ligue 1 title, but Hamouma has now won the final Ligue 1 Player of the Week for the 2017-18 season.
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