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French clubs in Europe – Week 1

Five Ligue 1 teams were involved in some heavy mid-week action in UEFA Champions’ League and Europa League group stages. The biggest accomplishment was achieved by the reigning champions Paris SG who dismantled and completely outplayed Real Madrid. Let’s take a look at the results and stats from these matches, starting from Europa League.

Rennes 1-1 Celtic

Rennes were drawn into a tough group made of Celtic FC, Lazio and Cluj. The Romanian champions were heavily underestimated in every single European encounter this season, and still they almost made it to the UCL group stages. They are not going to be observers in this group either, already causing a big upset and beating Lazio 2-1 in the first round. This pretty much made situation much more complicated for Rennes who hoped to battle with Lazio and Celtic for the second position. As for the game at Roazhon Park, it started really well for the French side.

The deadlock was broken by Mbaye Niang in the 37th minute (he scored from a penalty spot). That was also the half-time result. However, the Bhoys have managed to recover and salvage a point from this match in the second part. Full-time 1-1 result was set by Ryan Christie, again from penalty. Many will agree that the draw is a fair outcome for both sides considering the stats and performance. Rennes’ next match is in fourteen days on the road against Lazio. Potential loss here could hammer them to the bottom of the table. If you fancy betting on these 2nd round matches, all the latest bonuses are available at BettingSitesOnline.

Gent 3-2 St Étienne

Ghislain Printant and his squad have travelled to Belgium to start their Europa League campaign and hopefully end a bad run of results. St Étienne were winless for four games in a row across all competitions, so the timing was kind of bad. Gent on the other hand were in red-hot form, having won five out of the last six encounters prior to this duel. Belgium side was far more determined to win points in this match.

They have gained and early lead through Jonathan David after only 90 seconds of play. Wahbi Khazri scored the equalised 35 minutes later, but the half-time result was 2-1 in favour of the hosts. David scored his second just a couple of minutes before the whistle. Gent kept dominating and that resulted with the third goal in the middle of the second half. The final result of this match was set by Kaminsky’s own goal in the 75th minute. St Étienne will face Wolfsburg in the 2nd round and anything but a win is going to leave them with very small chances for the playoffs.

PSG 3-0 Real Madrid

Angel Di Maria once again got his revenge for not so great treatment while he was Real Madrid’s player. Argentine forward had a wonderful performance and scored the first two goals in this UEFA Champions League encounter played in Paris. Even though Thomas Tuchel wasn’t able to count on services of Edinson Cavani and Neymar Jr, the Saints dominated Los Blancos easily. Mauro Icardi has his debut as well, and the first appearance didn’t bring anything spectacular. The final 3-0 result was set by Meunier in the stoppage time. Paris SG will face Galatasaray in the 2nd round of this group, being a massive favourite to end the first phase as the group winner.

Olympique Lyonnais 1-1 Zenit St Petersburg

The first match of French representatives in European competitions was played on Tuesday 17th September when Lyon hosted St Petersburg. The home team was marked as a warm favourite for the win, even though the most recent results were not encouraging. Lyon ended the last two Ligue 1 games against Bordeaux and Amiens SC without a winner (1-1 and 2-2), having clear issues to keep a clean sheet. That didn’t happen this time either. Zenit took the lead in the first half through Azmoun, while the final result was set by Memphis Depay in the early second half. The second round will see Lyon pay a visit to Red Bull Leipzig.

Ajax 3-0 Lille

The only Ligue 1 team which failed to score this week was Lille. They had a rough away day in Amsterdam, losing to Ajax 3-0. There were a couple of great goal opportunities for Bamba, Ikone and Osimhen, but home net has remained intact. Lille are going to face Chelsea FC in the next round in front of the home crowd, being under pressure to win at least one point or significantly lower their chances for top three positions.

 

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