Topical: Ligue 1 from leaders PSG to the chasing pack of Lyon and Marseille

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The 27th round of Ligue 1 took place this past weekend and it was a week that saw PSG maintain their 17 point lead at the top of the league with the top 4 clubs all winning their respective games.

It’s a question of when and not if PSG pick up their 8th Ligue 1 title (6 wins in the last 7 years) as the French champions beat Caen 2-1. Man of the moment Kylian Mbappe who has stepped up to another level since Neymar and Edinson Cavani were struck down by injuries scored both goals and leads the goal scoring charts with 24 so far. If PSG can win their game in hand they could go 20 points clear at the top as coach Thomas Tuchel, in his debut season, looks to break every domestic record en route.

Lille are still in 2nd place but Lyon will not give up the chase for the runner up spot. They currently lead Lyon by 5 points and have lost just 1 game at home all season. But have Lyon made a statement of intent? Their 5-1 demolishing of Toulouse suggests they have. Lyon currently in 3rd are also sitting in the final Champions League qualification spot with no less than 3 other teams vying for that position.

Marseille coach Rudi Garcia looked to be on the ropes a few months ago when Marseille literally couldn’t buy a win and the fans started to protest. But 4 wins in their last five games has sent L’OM up the table where the objective now has to be to finish in at least 3rd place. They have only conceded 3 goals in their last 6 games and new signing Mario Balotelli has been superb, scoring 4 goals in his first six games with the club.

If any of the top 8 clubs are going to fall away a candidate could be Saint Etienne who have been solid overall but have found a run of inconsistency which has seen them lose 3 of their last five games. On form the club would be in 12th place.

Attention has been turned to Reims who are having their best season in the top flight in over 40 years. Reims are one of the most historical teams in Europe after reaching the very first European Cup final, a trick they repeated the following year in the mid 1950′s and the club have forever been linked to the European Cup/Champions League. Can they make it back there? It seems unlikely but they will give it a go and currently sit in 6th place and 7 points behind 3rd position. The teams two game winning run came to an end against Amiens when they could only draw 2-2, however they were losing that match before making a final comeback near the end of time.

Nice ended their poor form with a 1-0 win over Strasbourg but both teams ended up with 10 players apiece as tempers flared towards the end of the game. It was a significant win for Patrick Vieira, whose has guided the team brilliantly this season, however there has been an implosion of such in the last month and he will be hoping that the teams fortunes can change with a much needed 3 points.

One club whose fortunes need to change is Montpellier who keep slipping down the table and are now in 8th place having gone the last 5 games without victory. They are 6 points behind 4th place and have picked up just 3 points from their last available 15, and are in real danger of missing out on a European place after such a good first half of the season. The club did not play at the weekend though and will instead play tonight against Bordeaux. Win that and they could climb to 7th place and hopefully for them have a new found belief, because if any team in the top half of the league needs a win it is La Paillade who are consequently celebrating their 100th anniversary as a club.

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