Week 3 brought shocks, bore-draws and finally some points for Monaco. Simon Scutt reveals all in his team of the week.
Benoit Costil (Rennes) GK
One of two 100% records fell on Sunday when Rennes held off Saint-Etienne to secure a point. It was Costil to the rescue after he saved former Rennes striker Melvut Erdinc’s penalty late in the first half. A first clean sheet of the season for the Bretons as they reproduced the same score line as in the corresponding fixture last season.
Youssouf Sabaly (Evian) RB
PSG’s continuing problems with the Parc des Sports in Annecy were once again in evidence. Both sides struggled in front of goals and the scoreless result was inevitable. From an Evian perspective, the point will be of a lot more to them than their Parisian counterparts. Their defence played well in keeping PSG much vaunted attack at bay for ninety minutes.
Simon Kjaer (Lille) CB
Lille’s unimpressive start to the season had seen them only score one goal and taking four points from side newly promoted sides. They welcomed Lorient to northern France who themselves had began the season in decent form with the same number of points but an impressive away win at Monaco. Kjaer had a very good first season in Ligue 1 as part of an excellent Lille backline and this continued into this season, they have yet to concede. The Dane also opened his goal account for Ligue 1 with a deflected free-kick.
Sebastien Squillaci (Bastia) CB
Games can turn on the slightest things in football and that was exactly the case the game at the Furiani on Saturday night A twenty-fourth minute penalty award in favour of the home side turned the game in Bastia’s favour. Bastia then held firm as their defence guaranteed their first win of the season. Squillaci, masked for the occasion, rolled back the years to stop the likes of Ben Yedder and Braithwaite adding to their goal tallies for the season.
Layvin Kurzawa (Monaco) LB
Bafflingly dropped for the previous week’s trip to Bordeaux Kurzawa was restored to the starting line-up for Monaco’s trip to Nantes on Sunday night. He showed just why his manager was wrong to bench him and just why he is so highly thought of. His performance showcased his energy and direct running down the left flank. Monaco secured their first win of the season thanks to Falcao’s goal just before half time.
Morgan Sanson (Montpellier) CM
After a very good win at Marseille last time out Montpellier welcomed Metz to la Mosson and duly saw them off with consummate ease. Largely thanks to the creative presence of Sanson pulling the strings in the Montpellier midfield. He bagged an assist as his side grabbed the three points to take their tally to six from nine. After the departure of Remy Cabella and the probably departure of Benjamin Stambouli Montpellier are likely to become more and more reliant on Sanson.
N’Golo Kanté (Caen) CM
Things are going fairly well for Caen on their return to the elite, a comprehensive win at Evian followed by a battling defeat to Lille only down to a poor refereeing call to now a two nil win at Reims. N’Golo Kanté opened the scoring steering the ball home from the edge of the box following a counter-attack. Caen went on to make it 2 nil with a late goal and a second straight away win.
Nicolas Maurice-Belay (Bordeaux) LW
Three from three is what Bordeaux have achieved after a controversy-filled win at Nice. Bordeaux were given the opportunity to equalise thanks to a dubious penalty award. They would then be given another let off when a Nice goal was disallowed for a Nice player in an offside position, yet he didn’t touch the ball or move particularly. Bordeaux came out all guns blazing and hit two goals to see off Nice. Willy Sagnol’s boys have started the season in excellent form and are beginning to play the sort of football he promised upon appointment.
Adamo Coulibaly (Lens) RW
In the shock result of the weekend, newly promoted and pointless Lens travelled to Lyon and came away with the points. A injury-ravaged Lyon squad looked exhausted after their European game on Thursday night and suffered their third defeat in eight days. It was Coulilbaly whose through-ball that set up the move that resulted in the only goal of the game and allow Lens to open their Ligue 1 account for the season.
André-Pierre Gignac (Marseille) CF
Marseille’s patchy start to the season had some people predicting a Guingamp victory in this fixture, but it was not to be the case. A lively game that was settled by a lovely volley from Gignac. The Bielsa revolution is taking shape with Marseille playing some better attacking football they are just lacking the finishing touch for the most part.
Radamel Falcao (Monaco) CF
In a horrendously low-scoring weekend of Ligue 1 action, people that can actually put the ball in the net were at a premium on match-day three. Never was this more evident that in the Nantes-Monaco game. Nantes were left to massively rue their missed penalty in the first half when star-man Falcao headed home just before half time. Making his first start of the season, he allowed his team to chalk up their first win of the season. It was Falcao’s first headed goal for Monaco and second of the season. He showed Nantes just how efficiency in front of goal is the key to being successful, given that Nantes threw everything at Monaco in a grand-stand finish but just couldn’t find the net.