PLAYER RATINGS | Rennes 5-0 Lorient, SRFC stroll to derby win over meek Lorient

Ligue 1 21/22, Round 34 – 24/4/22

RENNES – 5 (Bourigeaud 17, Terrier 19, Traoré 47, Tait 79, Laborde 90)

Doğan Alemdar, 5

Hamari Traoré, 7 – Always trouble on his flank via pacey overlapping and a handful of whipped deliveries, one of which led to the fourth after his near post header just half half time made it 3-0. Very little to do defensively.

Warmed Omari, 5

Nayef Aguerd, 4

Adrien Truffert, 5

Baptiste Santamaria, 5

Flavien Tait, 7

Lovro Majer, 6

Benjamin Bourigeaud, 7 – Another effective and creative display, especially before the break, from arguably Ligue 1’s Non-Kylian player of the season. He reacted well to smash home the opener and his cross assisted the third that ended the game as a contest.

Martin Terrier, 7 – He slipped in behind the full-back to create the opener for Bourigeaud and he calmly stroked home to score his 21st goal of the Ligue 1 season to make it 2-0. An underrated player in a team of stars who was too good for Lorient’s workmanlike defence.

Serhou Guirassy, 3

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Others: Martin 5, Laborde 6, Ugochukwu 5, Meling 5, Assignon 6.


Matthieu Dreyer, 3

Houboulang Mendes, 3

Julien Laporte, 3

Léo Pétrot, 3

Vincent Le Goff, 3

Armand Laurienté, 6 – Having been a major influence in the club’s recent uptick, his resting for this derby robbed the visitors of much of their pace and creativity in attack. But, due to Innocent’s early injury, he was quickly introduced and was the only FCL forward to affect the game.

Thomas Monconduit, 4

Laurent Abergel, 5

Quentin Boisgard, 3

Enzo Le Fée, 4

Ibrahima Koné, 3

Others: Innocent 4, Moffi 5, Dango 5, Lemoine 4, Soumano 5.

PSG win 10th Ligue 1 title with draw against Lens

Paris Saint-Germain secured their record-equalling tenth Ligue 1 title tonight with a draw over Lens, as what looked to be Lionel Messi’s winner was cancelled out late by Corentin Jean.

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A cagey first half saw a number of chances fall the hosts’ way, but Jean-Louis Leca was equal to all of them . Lens also posed a threat on the break, with mercurial midfielder Séko Fofana notably at the heart of the action in leading his team forward.

The second half saw Lens’ sturdy defence continue, until centre-back Kevin Danso was sent off on the hour mark after a second yellow, having tackled Neymar from behind in front of the penalty area.

With his team struggling to break through, it was Lionel Messi who came up with the flash of inspiration to open the scoring. Found in space on the edge of the box by Neymar, the Argentine unleashed a shot into the roof of the net, finally beating Jean-Louis Leca, who had been imperious in the Lens goal up until then.

Despite the occasion, the ultras continued their protest towards both the club’s upper management and the team itself by sitting in silence, as they have done so since the Champions League defeat to Real Madrid.

The fans also booed as Mauricio Pochettino’s name was called out along with the starting lineup – none of the players were given the same treatment this time, however. The overall atmosphere, barring a few scattered bursts of chanting from other sections of the stadium, was fairly muted. On 75 minutes, a pre-planned protest saw many of the Virage Auteuil ultras pack up and leave to go celebrate the title outside.

Corentin Jean’s late goal at the back post ensured Lens came back with a well-deserved point, with their overall performance mirroring their return to form of late that has seen them with a chance of European competition for next season.


Dortmund enquire for Rennes captain Hamari Traoré

As reported by Foot Mercato, Rennes captain Hamari Traoré is attracting interest over a possible move to England or Germany this summer after a prolific season which has seen him contribute three goals and ten assists from right-back in Ligue 1.

The 30-year-old Malian international, formerly of Paris FC and Stade Reims, is enjoying arguably his best ever season, something that hasn’t gone unnoticed at Borussia Dortmund who’ve enquired over his availability. Although they’re yet to follow up, current options Marius Wolf and Thomas Meunier have disappointed the club say the outlet. 

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Eintracht Frankfurt and multiple Premier League sides are also keen on the experienced full-back whose contract expires in 2023.

PSG remain in the race to sign Ousmane Dembélé

RMC Sport report this afternoon that Paris Saint-Germain are still in the running to sign Ousmane Dembélé, with the Barcelona man’s contract expiring at the end of the season.

The club have been in discussions with the France winger’s representatives since January, when he was at the centre of a protracted saga around his renewal talks which saw him temporarily excluded from the Blaugrana squad.

He has since returned to the set-up and has emerged as one of Xavi’s key players in the second half of the season, having been told just months ago to leave the club by director Mateu Alemany.

Nevertheless, the outlines of a PSG contract have already been established. The former Rennes man is waiting to see what the management’s decisions for next season will be, notably with regard to Mauricio Pochettino’s successor on the bench.

While a move back to Ligue 1 is a possibility, the chances of a renewal at Barcelona have also increased, with two meetings recently taking place between the Frenchman and the La Liga side’s management.


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Bordeaux’s Admar Lopes on relegation battle: “It’s lots of small errors. Everyone is responsible.”

In an interview published in today’s L’Équipe, Bordeaux’s technical director Admar Lopes has discussed the club’s poor showing this season and the factors behind its struggles.

How can a team that’s only won 5 times this season stay up in the last four games of the season?

Mathematically, there’s still hope. That’s the message of trust I want to get across. There are four chances left. If we win against Nice [on Sunday], it can change everything. We need to believe in it all together, and I’ll support the squad until the end. We’ve shown in the last month and a half in certain games that we’re capable of defending and scoring goals. The problem is that it’s a two-faced team and you never know which one will show up. This team has a serious problem with managing the scoreline and emotions.

Shouldn’t the arrivals of Marcelo and Josuha Guilavogui in January, as well as that of David Guion as manager, have solved that issue?

These changes created a positive impact at the start. The issue is that when you change manager and bring in important players, you have to win straight away. Otherwise it creates insecurity. In our case it took a month and half… It was a key moment.

Looking from the outside, nothing has worked this season – neither your managerial choices nor the players you have signed

We’ve made a few errors. But the fact the club was bought late [made official in July] was also decisive. Usually, a transfer window is planned out in May-start of June. We started at the end of July and we made our first sale – Toma Bašić to Lazio – on August 24. Those aren’t excuses but it was a difficult context with financial restraints. We started the season with a coach that hadn’t done a pre-season [Petković]. With regard to the profiles of the players we recruited, we knew there were risks but we didn’t have the choice. We worked with what we inherited.

What’s been your biggest error?

It’s lots of small errors. Everyone is responsible.

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Is being 19th a reflection of the level of the team?

The table doesn’t lie. It’s a reflection of the squad, the players’ mentality, the quality of our work on a daily basis…

Is it a failure you take responsibility for?

Yes. When you work in football and that you’re a decision-maker, you’re always subject to criticism. That’s normal. What’s not is that Bordeaux are 19th. But with regard to the criticism, it has to be said that it’s easy to speak in this period where the club is in great difficulty. But this summer, when the club was also in great danger, where were those same people who are criticising us now? What have they done to help the club?

The way the Laurent Koscielny and Benoît Costil situations have been managed have also seen a lot of people speak. Would you have done differently?

We’re aware that we made decisions which are not very popular. We went for mainstays of the dressing room, but we did so because we felt it was needed. If I had to go back I would do exactly the same thing.

Is bringing Costil back for the Nantes game a month after taking him out of the team after the Montpellier match not an admission of defeat?

After Montpellier, the coach told me that in sporting terms Benoît wasn’t at his best, that he was coming back from injury and that he wanted to play Gaëtan [Poussin]. After our struggled at Lyon [6-1 loss] and the disappointment at Saint-Étienne [2-2 draw] he told me that he wanted to bring in some experience, that he felt Benoît was doing better physically, and I agreed with him. It’s a purely sporting choice. No external pressure.

After the altercation between Costil and the Ultramarines [ultras group] leader Florian Brunet at half-time against Montpellier and the accusations of racism, do you see how it could be interpreted differently?

I understand, but I don’t agree. Benoît played against Montpellier because Poussin was suspended. Otherwise, Poussin would have played.

[…] Given the situation, many partners and supporters are surprised that club president Gérard Lopez is no longer present

The president has a network that not many people have. It’s more useful for him to be travelling and looking for financial situations for the club’s future than to be locked up in an office. That doesn’t mean he can’t be aware of everything. I speak to him and the coach does so every day.

Lyon looking at left-backs Tyrell Malacia and Ridvan Yilmaz

As reported by Ignazio Genuardi, Lyon are looking at possible replacements for Chelsea loanee left-back Emerson Palmieri and are closely following both Tyrell Malacia of Feyenoord and Besiktas’ Ridvan Yilmaz.

Emerson has stated he would be interested in staying at Lyon beyond this season but his salary demands are expected to be too high for the Ligue 1 side to sign the Italian international permanently.

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As a result Yilmaz, a 21-year-old Turkish international, was watched in person by OL last week as the club assesses their options ahead of the summer with Feyenoord’s 22-year-old Dutch full-back Malacia, who has three Holland caps, also seen as an option for the role.

Ligue 1 Predictions | Round 35

Scores after week eight:JEREMY: 53ERIC: 47

Jeremy’s Game of the Week: Marseille v Lyon, 7.45pm, Sunday (UK) – Marseille are in their usual Sunday night timeslot for the Olympico – arguably the most interesting rivalry in Ligue 1 these days, in view of PSG’s general dominance over Marseille and Lyon’s over Saint-Etienne. This fixture has been closely – and nastily – fought in recent seasons and the first meeting between the two sides this campaign had its fair share of intrigue, as a rare good performance from Xherdan Shaqiri and an excellent late Moussa Dembélé goal gave Lyon a barely deserved victory. OM come into this in good form with 10 wins and two defeats (to PSG and Feyenoord) from their last 12. Lyon’s form is, well, Lyony – two draws, two wins (albeit with 11 goals scored) and two defeats in their last six. However, they haven’t won away from home since early March and Marseille should have enough energy left, post-Europa Conference semi, to edge it.

Eric’s Game of the Week: Lens v Nantes, 4pm, Saturday (UK) – Both of these sides still harbour faint ambitions of a European place, but one will have to feel that Nantes, between their absentees and a Coupe de France final looming next Saturday, will hardly be up to their usual standard. While Les Canaris are six points off of the top six, Lens could move ahead of Strasbourg if the eastern side fail to beat PSG on Friday, giving Le Sang et Or extra motivation for this encounter.

Jeremy’s Full Predictions:Strasbourg 1-2 PSGLens 2-1 NantesRennes 3-0 Saint-EtienneTroyes 1-1 LilleMonaco 3-0 AngersBrest 2-1 ClermontMontpellier 2-0 MetzLorient 2-0 ReimsBordeaux 2-1 NiceMarseille 2-1 Lyon

Eric’s Full Predictions:Strasbourg 2-2 PSGLens 2-1 NantesRennes 3-1 Saint-EtienneTroyes 0-1 LilleMonaco 2-0 AngersBrest 1-2 ClermontMontpellier 1-1 MetzLorient 1-1 ReimsBordeaux 1-2 NiceMarseille 1-2 Lyon

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Antonio Conte denies being in contact with PSG

Speaking ahead of his Tottenham Hotspur side’s match against Leicester on Sunday, manager Antonio Conte has denied reports that he has been in contact with Paris Saint-Germain.

Le Parisien had reported last week that the Italian had offered himself to the Ligue 1 champions-elect, with Mauricio Pochettino to leave the club at the end of the season.

RMC Sport had later added that the former Inter and Juventus coach was looking to double his salary at PSG to around €30m and bring in his own staff.

However, Conte has dismissed the reports as “fake news”, in his press conference transcribed by Sky Sports:

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 “Obviously I think it’s good other clubs appreciate my work. This is one thing. But the truth is I don’t like when people try to invent news – only to speak, only to create problems. This is not right, not fair for me, for the clubs involved and for my players.”

“[…] In this situation, who works in football – players or managers – know very well at this point of the season, a lot of fake news starts to go out.”

Sampaoli: “The result was completely influenced by the referee.”

Marseille manager Jorge Sampaoli claimed that Sunday’s ‘Choc des Olympiques’ was “decided by refereeing errors,” in a post-match interview with Prime Video. 

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“The result was totally influenced by the referee. There is a forgotten penalty in the first half…It is a Classic, the referee has to be up to the task. The match was decided by the referee’s errors. It was very clear that there should have been a penalty. We conceded a penalty like that against PSG. That influences the result.”

Marseille President Pablo Longoria also spoke to Prime Video in the wake of their 3-0 defeat to Lyon, and advocated for referees to be fitted with microphones so that decisions can be better communicated with fans in attendance and at home. 

Aurélien Tchouaméni set to depart

Despite expressing a desire to play Champions League football with AS Monaco, should they qualify for next season’s competition, RMC are reporting that Aurélien Tchouaméni (22) will in fact leave the club this summer. 

According to RMC, Chelsea, Liverpool and Real Madrid are the main contenders for the French international’s signature, although PSG have not given up on bringing him to the Parc des Princes. It is thought however, that Tchouaméni seeks a challenge abroad. 

RMC state that his representatives have been negotiating with European clubs for months, whilst the player himself remains firmly focused on finishing the season strongly with Monaco. Whatever fruit those efforts bear, it looks increasingly unlikely that the Bordeaux academy product will be at the Stade Louis II next season to savour them. 

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