All of this week’s Coupe de la Ligue encounters reviewed.
Bastia 3-1 Auxerre:
This was one of those games which, for a large part of the match, looked like an upset could be on the cards. Auxerre took an early lead when Mbombo headed home at the back post to give the visitors the lead, which they held until the break. However, their resistance was broken in the 58th minute by Ayite, who scored from Boudebouz’s corner. Djibril Cisse then added two more in the space of 10 minutes to but Bastia in control, and they eventually coasted to victory.
Caen 4-3 Clermont (After ET):
This was one of the best games of the round, but you would not have thought it after a first 45 minutes which finished goalless. Clermont came out quickly in the second half and caught their hosts cold with Dugimont’s 48th minute goal, but Feret soon levelled the scores from Saez’s cross. Clermont then re-took the lead through Novillo, and Caen began to press for the equaliser.
When they found it through Duhamel’s smart finish, they had the momentum, and Bazile’s late effort looked to have won it for the home side. However, Clermont came back, and equalised at the death as Diogo found the back of the net. The game went into extra time, and just as the game looked to be heading to penalties, Duhamel won it for Caen with pretty much the last kick of the game.
Evian 1-2 Lorient:
Evian got off the the perfect start as Wass curled in a wonderful free kick from distance to give the home side the lead early on. However, Lorient put their poor league form to one side to mount a comeback. Lavigne ran onto a long ball and beats Leroy in goal for Bastia to level the scores in the 15th minute. Then, as the game entered the last 20 minutes, Jordan Ayew gave his side a decisive lead with a clinical finish. Evian’s Mensah was sent off late on, and Lorient held on for the win.
Lens 0-2 Creteil:
One of the upsets on Tuesday night was Ligue 1 side Lens losing to Ligue 2 Creteil at home. Whilst it was not the most exciting game by any means, the visitors will be delighted with their performance throughout the game. They took the lead in the 58th minute through Lesage after some lacklustre defending, and Genest doubled the lead with a fantastic individual goal three minutes from time to seal the win.
Montpellier 0-1 Ajaccio:
Another game, and another upset! Montpellier only have themselves to blame, as they were well on top for almost the whole match, but failed to convert their good positions into chances and goals. Ajaccio caught then off guard just before the break, as Madri exchanged passes with Jebbour, and slotted past Pionnier to give the visitors the lead. Despite pressure from Montpellier in the second half, a resolute Ajaccio back line held the lead for an impressive victory.
Nantes 4-0 Laval:
Whilst the majority of the games were close encounters, this was anything but. Nantes took an early lead through Shechter, the worst possible start for a Laval side that were strong underdogs anyway. Laval kept the score at 0-0 for a while, but once Bessat doubled the home side’s advantage in the 57th minute, the visitors never looked like mounting a comeback. Bangoura added a third soon afterwards, and Shechter grabbed his second late on to complete a convincing win.
Reims 2-3 Arles-Avignon (After ET):
Without doubt the best game, and best performance, of all the matches in the round. Arles-Avignon were absolutely brilliant in their performance against Ligue 1 Reims, fully deserving of the victory. Despite early Arles pressure and missed chances, Reims took the lead through De Preville, who punished the visitors’ wastefulness. However, Arles turned it around in the second half through goals from Niang and Savanier, and looked to be heading to a famous victory, until Courtet scored in the last minute to level the scores.
The game went into extra time, and immediately Arles were in trouble. Gigot was sent off for a second bookable offence in the 2nd minute of extra time, and Reims were soon awarded a penalty and a golden chance to take the lead. However, Courtet hit the bar and Arles survived a massive scare. Courtet hit the woodwork again a few minutes later, as Arles were completely camped in their own half, but somehow the visitors found a way to take the lead when Ouaamar caught the Reims defence napping completely against the run of play. Arles then held out the entire second half of constant Reims pressure to claim a huge victory.
Toulouse 1-3 Bordeaux:
This was a big derby game as the late kick-off, but you would not really have thought it from the way Toulouse played on Tuesday. Their defence was all over the place, conceding soft goals throughout. First of all, Pallois scored from a corner as the Toulouse defence let him have a free header. Then, Contento doubled the lead after Bordeaux broke from clearing a free kick in their own half. Bordeaux then had a man sent off, but instead of Toulouse pressing, Bordeaux extended their lead through Diabate as he curled into the bottom corner. Akpa Akpro pulled one back, but it was just a late consolation.
Nice 3-3 Metz (Metz win 3-2 on penalties):
Another fantastic game of Coupe de la Ligue action! Metz raced to what looked like an unassailable 3-0 lead within within the first 20 minutes, as goals from Palomino, Maiga and Vion stunned an expectant home crowd. However, Nice showed immense character to rally back, pulling two back before the break through Maupay and Bosetti. Metz looked like they were holding onto the lead, but Cvitanich scored a late penalty to force extra time. Both sides pushed, but neither side could find the winner, so the game went to penalties. Nice missed both of their first two effort and, when is came down to their fifth penalty, Bosetti had to score to keep Nice in it. However, he could not find the back of the net, meaning Metz made it through to the next round.
Rennes 2-1 Marseille:
Marseille looked to live up to their great early league form in this tie, and took an early lead through recent signing Michy Batshuayi in the 19th minute. Just as Marseille’s lead was looking comfortable, though, Konradsen equalised for Rennes as he headed home Andre’s free kick. Then, both N’Tep and Dja Djedje were sent off for some serious handbags in the 63rd minute, which escalating into a confrontation between all 22 players. Just as it looked to be heading to extra time, Hosiner deflected in M’Bengue’s shot in added time to give the home side the victory.