GK, Gauthier Gallon (Troyes) – Quietly solid this season so far, Gallon made three key saves to preserve Troyes’ point against Rennes. An early leaping stop from Laborde and another from Bourigeaud were topped by a superb close range save in injury time from Terrier who looked certain to win it.
FB, Jimmy Cabot (Angers) – His passing was a little intermittent but his skill and direct style often drove Angers forward in the narrow loss to Nice. It’s difficult to see him playing any other role than wing-back for the rest of his career.
CB, William Saliba (Marseille) – Largely untroubled by Clermont’s attack in a 1-0 OM win and was unflappable throughout in playing him and his team out of danger while contributing some precise passing.
CB, Jérôme Boateng (Lyon) – Made a crucial goal line stop from Clauss’ first half effort as Lyon edged past Lens and was repeatedly in the right place and the right time. Commanding.
FB, Jonathan Gradit (Lens) – One of Ligue 1’s most underrated stalwarts and again provided an alert defensive display, adding a key block on a Toko-Ekambi shot.
DM, Salis Abdul Samed (Clermont) – Busy and persistent in his midfield work and was a constant nuisance for his OM counterparts despite the defeat, pressing well and using the ball neatly.
CM, Houssem Aouar (Lyon) – Continues to play like the player he promised he could be after over a year of poor form and was again a slippery presence in Lyon’s defeat of Lens. His drive and quick reactions brought a headed second for OL.
AM, Neymar (PSG) – Both ends of the Neymar spectrum were on display. In the first half he often slowed play down and was repeatedly dispossessed – eight times total, twice more than anyone else – but was transformed after Messi’s halftime exit and took control of the second half with some direct, creative and intense contributions. A lovely deft assist set up Di Maria’s winner to eventually beat Lille.
WF, Ángel Di María (PSG) – The Argentine effectively won the game for PSG on Friday against Lille. A consistently and quietly influential presence throughout, his deliveries were always on point and a clever dinked cross found Marquinhos for the leveller while it was his charge and first time finish that won it late on.
WF, Franck Honorat (Brest) – Much of the talk related to Brest surrounds Faivre but, in truth, Honorat has been the team’s premier forward in 2021 and he again imposed himself in all areas for an impressive win over Monaco with his industry, ability to progress moves and creativity. Stole in at the back post for the second.
ST, Andy Delort (Nice) – Always a goal threat in the comeback win at Angers and it was his deflected shot that equalised before a rocket of a volley from the edge of the area won the game in injury time. Also hit the post with a first half header.