GK, Paul Nardi (Lorient) – It wasn’t a matchday for goalkeepers but Nardi orchestrated a clean sheet for Lorient against Champions League chasing Nice, despite Moritz Jenz being sent off with 20 minutes to play.
FB, Achraf Hakimi (PSG) – The Moroccan followed up well to sneak home PSG’s first half opener at Metz but was largely quiet besides and relatively well handled by an improved Udol. However, it was his rasping left-footed drive that won the game late on.
CB, Boubacar Kouyate (Metz) – Defended stoutly and alertly throughout Metz’s loss at home to PSG and it was his powerful header that equalised in the first half. He was unfortunate not to be rewarded with a point for his efforts.
CB, Alexander Djiku (Strasbourg) – One of Ligue 1’s more underrated defenders and has been central to Strasbourgs’ resurgence in recent games and he was again crucial to the keeping of a clean sheet in the 1-0 win at Lens.
FB, Timothée Pembélé (Bordeaux) – The youngster is starting to make good on the promise show at PSG in fleeting outings for Paris and was a powerful presence at both ends of the pitch, often notably progressing play from wing back during Bordeaux’s draw at Montpellier.
DM, Youssouf Fofana (Monaco) – Although he was aided by Monaco’s man advantage in their 3-1 win over ASSE, a series of barn-storming runs from midfield were perhaps the game’s highlight. One such charge resulted in an assist for Volland and he also hit the frame of the goal with a first half shot.
CM, Jean Onana (Bordeaux) – The new signing was superb in the first half before he was withdrawn at the break due to injury, often creating space and openings for others with some powerful running, his ability to pinch the ball in midfield and neat use of possession as Bordeaux scored late to draw at Montpellier. His thunderbolt for 2-1, off the bar from the edge of the area, is already one of the goals of the season.
AM, Téji Savanier (Montpellier) – Savanier seems to have taken the Laborde and Delort departures personally and, as captain, is dictating and orchestrating again, having been a little reserved at times in recent months. It was his free kick that assisted Germain’s second and his long ball that created the first in the 3-3 draw with Bordeaux. His fizzing, lofted and one-touch passes were glorious, as was his skilful interplay in tight midfield spaces.
WF, Neymar (PSG) – Although he added the odd unneeded extra flourish in the first half as a complacent PSG assumed they’d won the game after Hakimi’s early opener against Metz, Neymar dominated proceedings overall. His sumptuous weight of pass, terrorising of defenders with some typically sharp change of pace and direction and supreme vision was the difference throughout. It was his clever ball that found Hakimi which won the game late on.
WF, Benjamin Bourigeaud (Rennes) – His whipped, flat deliveries are an under-the-radar Ligue 1 delight and two such balls put Rennes on their way to a 6-0 win over Clermont as part of an intelligent, illusive midfield display overall.
ST, Martin Terrier (Rennes) – Rennes badly missed him during a recent injury but Terrier returned to the side as an attacking focal point to great effect in Rennes thrashing of Clermont. He was lucky to score, his shot squirming under Desmas, but might have had more and his deft interplay and silky movement around the box was outstanding, helping to create three of Rennes’ further strikes in the 6-0 win.