Bastia 1-3 Monaco:
Monaco started the game in the perfect manner, as Germain found space in the penalty area to send in a low shot past Areola and into the net to give his side an important lead. Monaco then looked the more likely team to score and double their lead, but Bastia managed to grab a goal slightly against the run of play. Kamano delivered a pin-point cross into the box to find an unmarked Maboulou, who sent his header past Subasic.
Monaco laboured a little at the beginning of the second half, allowing Bastia some half-chances at goal, but as soon as the game hit the 70 minute mark they assumed pretty much complete control. Traore came close with a low shot saved by Areola, and then substitute Martial sent a low shot inches wide of the far post. The breakthrough came when Kondogbia headed home a Ferreira Carrasco free kick to give Monaco the lead, and Ferreira Carrasco turned goalscorer when he tapped in after Palmeiri’s defensive error had allowed Martial through on goal. Bastia will be disappointed not to come away with anything, but it was a good win on the road for ASM.
Caen 2-1 Lorient:
Caen, roared on by their vocal home support, got off to a very quick start, getting at Lorient from kick off, and they reaped the rewards in the third minute, when Nangis’ early strike gave them the lead. Lorient slowly worked themselves into the game, though, and earned a way back into the game when Da Silva committed a clear foul to give away a penalty. Jordan Ayew stepped up to send Vercoutre the wrong way and equalise the score.
Once again, though, Caen were quick off the mark after the break, and Lorient conceded a sloppy penalty for handball to give the home side the chance to re-take the lead. Duhamel, who had come close earlier in the match on a couple of occasions, made no mistake from the spot, powering a finish into the top corner to give Caen the lead once again. Despite some late pressure from Lorient, which involved a few scrambles in the Caen box, Caen survived to hold on for a crucial, hard-earned three points.
Evian 0-2 Nantes:
Nantes, who now sit third in the league following their win at Evian, have played much better at times this season, but still came away with a very good win against Ligue 1’s second from bottom side. Evian enjoyed a lot of possession throughout the match (54%), but could not muster a single shot on target, to Nantes’ 6. Nantes took the lead just before the break as Mongongu conceded a rash penalty, allowing Veretout to convert the spot-kick to give the visitors momentum heading into the break.
Evian came out with purpose in the second period, but their final ball seemed to be lacking all night, and they just could not break down a resolute Nantes defence. As the game went on and Evian became more desperate, Nantes started creating chances on the counter. First, Bammou missed an absolute sitter when through on goal against Areola, but then he more than made up for it when he spun Abdallah and squeezed a low finish past Hansen to put the game beyond reach for Evian.
Reims 1-0 Montpellier:
A game of few chances looked to be heading towards a goalless draw, until a moment of top class separated the two sides right at the death. Montpellier made the brighter start, and soon had the ball in the back of the Reims net, but it was correctly ruled out by the linesman for offside. Just before the break, it was Reims who almost took the lead, as Fortes hammered a shot against the crossbar from just outside the box, but 0-0 was the fair score at the break.
If anything, the second half had fewer chances of note than the first period did. Both sides were tussling to gain control of the match, but it seemed that neither could provide that bit of class in the final third to produce the goal the game needed to bring it to life. However, that moment of class did finally arrive, in the form of Reims’ Moukandjo. He took the ball down brilliantly inside the box, turned, and curled a wonderful shot right into the bottom corner in the 90th minute to send the home fans crazy. It could prove a crucial 3 points for Reims.