Ligue 1 - Saison 2011/12

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fcb

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Re: Ligue 1 - Saison 2011/12

Post by fcb on Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:41 am

Lorient 5-1 Bordeaux

Wtf happened there Shocked

A & K

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Re: Ligue 1 - Saison 2011/12

Post by A & K on Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:01 am

Hat trick from Gameiro, who's now the second best goal scorer with 15 goals. That's the reason why.... and Tigana really sucks as a manager.
Bordeaux in a year have become an average team. Bye bye Blanc, Chamack and Gourcuff and here you are average team.

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Kroos

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Re: Ligue 1 - Saison 2011/12

Post by Kroos on Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:58 pm

great game between lille and lyon

for sure the 2nd best league to watch in the world
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Cesc Soler

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Re: Ligue 1 - Saison 2011/12

Post by Cesc Soler on Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:24 pm

Ligue 1 certainly boasts the most open title race this season.

1 LOSC Lille Métropole 25121034324+1946
2 Stade Rennais FC 2513753018+1246
3 Olympique de Marseille 2512943621+1545
4 Paris Saint-Germain 2512853925+1444
5 Olympique Lyonnais 2511953925+1442
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Pierre Littbarski

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Re: Ligue 1 - Saison 2011/12

Post by Pierre Littbarski on Sat Mar 05, 2011 10:18 pm

Kroos wrote:great game between lille and lyon

for sure the 2nd best league to watch in the world


<Ale>



France - Ligue 1 March 5

FT Caen 1 - 0 Saint-Etienne

FT Lorient 0 - 0 Nancy

FT Montpellier 0 - 1 Rennes

FT Nice 0 - 0 Lens

FT Toulouse 0 - 1 Sochaux

FT Valenciennes 0 - 0 Monaco

FT Auxerre 1 - 0 Paris S.G.
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Cesc Soler

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Re: Ligue 1 - Saison 2011/12

Post by Cesc Soler on Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:16 am

1 LOSC Lille Métropole 26131034525 2049
2 Stade Rennais FC 2614753118 1349
3 Olympique Lyonnais 2612954425 1945
4 Olympique de Marseille 2612953723 1445
5 Paris Saint-Germain 2612863926 1344

Massive three points for Lille against Marseille yesterday - Pierre-Alain Frau bagged a last minute winner in a 2-1 win. Elsewhere Rennes won 1-0 at Montpellier while Lyon thumped bottom club Arles 5-0. PSG lost 1-0 at Auxerre.

Eden Hazard showing why he is so sought after ....


A & K

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Re: Ligue 1 - Saison 2011/12

Post by A & K on Mon Mar 07, 2011 2:02 pm

Yeah great goal from Hazard and very bad result for Marseille. Lisandro who just came back from injury scored a hat trick. FFS Lille and Rennes 1st and 2nd... that's not good news.
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Cesc Soler

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Re: Ligue 1 - Saison 2011/12

Post by Cesc Soler on Sat May 07, 2011 4:09 pm

1

LOSC Lille Métropole

33 17 12 4 59 31 +28 63
2

Olympique de Marseille

33 17 11 5 51 30 +21 62
3

Olympique Lyonnais

33 15 11 7 55 33 +22 56
4

Paris Saint-Germain

33 15 11 7 50 34 +16 56
5

Stade Rennais FC

33 14 10 9 33 26 +7 52
Lyon vs. Marseille tomorrow night in a game for great significance for both sides. I hope for another 5-5 like last season.

Elsewhere Lille travel to Nancy & PSG are away to Monaco.

A & K

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Re: Ligue 1 - Saison 2011/12

Post by A & K on Wed May 11, 2011 1:54 pm

There are rumors that P.S.G is going to be bought by QIA owner Cheikh Tarim Bin Hamad Al-Thani. He's going to buy the club for 50million euros and should invest 150 million euros in 3 years Crying or Very sad . It's going to be tough for other teams now (Lille, Marseille, Lyon, Bordeaux, etc). Game over if this deals really happen. The good thing is that Paris will become a big club again, like it was with Rai, Valdo, Ginola, Djorkaeff, etc.
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Cesc Soler

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Re: Ligue 1 - Saison 2011/12

Post by Cesc Soler on Sat May 14, 2011 9:48 pm

Lille beat PSG in the French Cup final. With a minute to space in normal time Obraniak's curling freekick from near the corner flag broke the deadlock. Lille were awarded a penalty shortly after as Coupet brought down Gervinho but he redeemed himself by saving Debuchy's spot-kick.

First part of the double complete for Lille.

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Re: Ligue 1 - Saison 2011/12

Post by A & K on Sun May 15, 2011 9:32 am

Lille fully deserved it and will be a great champion. They remind me of us 7-8 years ago when we kept growing year aft year. They will have a big stadium in a few years so they could attract good players. They will sell Hazard and Gervinho for 50 millions if they really need cash.
The battle between Lyon and Paris will be huge, if we don't qualify we will certainly have to sell some of our best players (Lloris, Lisandro) and if Paris don't qualify they might not get bought by the quataris... I think we will qualify though.

36th day:
Lorient-Marseille - Difficult to tell
Lille-Sochaux - Tricky game for Lille cuz Socahaux are on a roll (6th overall)
Brest-Lyon - 3 points for Lyon
Bordeaux-P.S.G - Tricky game for Paris, new coach for Bordeaux

37th
P.S.G-Lille Will end up as a draw
Lyon-Caen Ez 3 points
Marseille-Valencienne Ez 3 pnts

38th
Monaco-Lyon Tricky games, draw or we win
St Etienne-P.S.G Tricky game, anything could happen
Lille-Rennes Rennes is a difficult team (5th overall), Lille will win or draw
Caen-Marseille Should be 3 points for Marseille

Lille have two difficult games left out od three and anything could happen
It won't be easy for Paris and Lyon. Marseille can still win the championship.
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Cesc Soler

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Re: Ligue 1 - Saison 2011/12

Post by Cesc Soler on Wed May 18, 2011 8:42 pm

Lille are almost the champions of Ligue 1. Six points & eight GD advantage over Marseille with only two matchweeks left.

Lyon's draw over Brest now considered a good point after PSG lost 1-0 to Bordeaux. They now hold a two point lead over PSG in the race for 3rd place.

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Re: Ligue 1 - Saison 2011/12

Post by A & K on Thu May 19, 2011 1:36 am

Yeah Lille are Champion de France and it's not a surprise at all, they fully deserve it. Now let's see what happens this summer, Rami is leaving for sure for Valence. I don't think they will sell Hazard but Gervinho probably.
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Cesc Soler

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Re: Ligue 1 - Saison 2011/12

Post by Cesc Soler on Mon May 23, 2011 12:15 am

Congratulations to Lille for winning Ligue 1 (last time they won it was in 1954) and sealing the 16th double in French football.

They will lose defender Adil Rami to Valencia in the summer, but they should be doing everything possible to keep hold of Cabaye, Hazard, Gervinho & Sow for another season at least. It's an exciting time for the club as they move into a new 50,000 capacity stadium over the next year.


Ligue 1 Awards 2011

Best Ligue 1 Player: Eden Hazard (Lille)

Best Ligue 1 Goalkeeper: Steve Mandanda (Marseille)

Best Ligue 1 Youngster: Mamadou Sakho (PSG)

Ligue 1 2010/11 XI: Steve Mandanda (Marseille) - Anthony Reveillere (Lyon), Adil Rami (Lille), Mamadou Sakho (PSG), Taye Taiwo (Marseille) - Yann M'Vila (Rennes), Gervinho (Lille), Eden Hazard (Lille), Nenê (PSG) - Kévin Gameiro (Lorient), Moussa Sow (Lille)

A & K

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Re: Ligue 1 - Saison 2011/12

Post by A & K on Mon May 23, 2011 1:20 am

Sakho and Hazard two future excellent players. Both of them are very young and for sure will play in very big clubs in a few years, but they will cost quite a lot.
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Chocolate Thunder

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Re: Ligue 1 - Saison 2011/12

Post by Chocolate Thunder on Sat May 28, 2011 12:14 pm

Can someone confirm whether or not 6th place guarantees Europa League football?

Just looking at Lille vs Rennes tomorrow. Rennes can finish in 6th at worst if tomorrows results go against them - them losing to Lille and Sochaux winning. I think Lille will give 100% nonetheless and will win (Sow will be pushed to wrap up the top goalscorer title).

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Cesc Soler

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Re: Ligue 1 - Saison 2011/12

Post by Cesc Soler on Sat May 28, 2011 12:47 pm

4th + 5th = Play-off round

6th = Third qualifying round (starts late July)

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

3rd place still up for grabs between Lyon & PSG, although the former holds a two point advantage. Both clubs have away fixtures in the final round of Ligue 1. Lyon are at Monaco while PSG travel to St. Ettiene.

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Chocolate Thunder

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Re: Ligue 1 - Saison 2011/12

Post by Chocolate Thunder on Sat May 28, 2011 1:30 pm

Much appreciate your post Cesc ok
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Chocolate Thunder

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Re: Ligue 1 - Saison 2011/12

Post by Chocolate Thunder on Sun May 29, 2011 10:12 pm

Think I've aged 20 years after what Lille put me through Very Happy

Moussa Sow is a hero.

____

Lyon in the CL at the expense of PSG and Monaco, the latter being relegated.

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Re: Ligue 1 - Saison 2011/12

Post by A & K on Mon May 30, 2011 1:30 am

Moussa Sow is the revelation of the year. This guy never really did anything before and came to Lille on a free transfer last year. Lille are by far the best club in France for finding talents (rami, Hazard, Gervinho, Rami, etc). Sow, b.t.w is one of the reasons why Blanc has criticized players that opt for another nationality. This guy is born in Paris, but has chosen the Senegalese nationality. I bet it's going to be a one season wonder.
It was Lille's year, Rudy Garcia voted best coach, Hazard best player, and now Sow best goal scorer. Now let's see how they do in the C.L. Having poor experience in Europe is not going to be advantage for sure.
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Cesc Soler

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Re: Ligue 1 - Saison 2011/12

Post by Cesc Soler on Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:57 pm

Trophee des Champions Result:

9′ Florent Balmont [1-0 Lille]
57′ Eden Hazard [2-0 Lille]
71' André Ayew [2-1 Lille]
72′ Moussa Sow [3-1 Lille]
85' Jérémy Morel [3-2 Lille]
87' Loïc Remy [3-3 Draw]
90' André Ayew (p) (3-4 Marseille]
90+3′ Marko Basa [4-4 Draw]
90+4' André Ayew (p) [4-5 Marseille]

Yikes

Lille OSC 4-5 Olympique de Marseille



A & K

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Re: Ligue 1 - Saison 2011/12

Post by A & K on Fri Jul 29, 2011 1:32 pm

Crazy game but Marseille were helped by the referee at the end. The Ayew brothers did it again.. Thank god for Marseille that they are still there. Meanwhile, P.S.G are on the verge of getting Pastore for 45m euros... that would be great for them, although 45 is way too much.
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Cesc Soler

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Re: Ligue 1 - Saison 2011/12

Post by Cesc Soler on Sat Aug 06, 2011 3:50 pm

Ben Lyttleton from the Guardian previews the Ligue 1 season which begins this evening as Marseille entertain Sochaux, Lyon travel to Nice, and PSG start at home against Lorient;

Ligue 1 2011-12 season preview

Can anyone stop newly rich Paris St Germain from becoming French champions this season?


The best stories in France go all the way to the top, and this one is no different. Paris St Germain, newly under the ownership of Qatari Sports Investments, this summer appointed Leonardo as sports director and in one month spent €83m (£72m) on eight players, including €42m on Javier Pastore, the Argentinian playmaker coveted by Chelsea, Real Madrid and Barcelona, in a deal set to be confirmed before the new season kicks off on Saturday.

Seeing off the likes of Valencia for the striker Kevin Gameiro (€11m), Liverpool for Blaise Matuidi (€10m) and Marseille for Jérémy Ménez (€8m) is one thing, but the Pastore deal is a marquee signing and shatters the previous French transfer record of €22.5m, spent by Lyon on Yoann Gourcuff. Le Parisien suggests Dimitar Berbatov is open to the idea of joining PSG, while Santos's Ganso is still on the radar, which raises the question of how all three may gel in the same dressing room, let alone the team. France Football called the spending spree the July revolution. Le Parisien claimed "PSG has truly entered a new dimension" while L'Equipe's Tuesday front-page splash asked of Pastore: "Is he worth €42m?"

Just as fascinating as the implications on the pitch are the machinations off it, particularly the role of the France president, Nicolas Sarkozy, in helping the QSI deal happen. Libération described Sarkozy, a PSG fan, as "the Qatari team's 12th man" and alleged that he had to be talked out of firing the sports minister, Chantal Jouanno, for saying she wished PSG's new owners had been French.

So Foot investigated the increasing business relationships between France and Qatar, and reported that 10 days after Sarkozy hosted a lunch between the QSI head, Sheikh Tamim al-Thani, and Michel Platini last November, the Uefa president – an outspoken critic of billionaire owners – voted for Qatar's bid to host the 2022 World Cup.

This is the backdrop to what promises to be the most exciting Ligue 1 season for years, with PSG now credible challengers to the vibrant new champions Lille, a regrouped and hungry Marseille, and a Lyon side coming to terms with a new philosophy. PSG's signings, up to now, have been impressive: Gameiro is a proven scorer in this league (22 goals last season), while Matuidi and Ménez represent quality, if inexperienced, replacements for the departed Claude Makelele and Ludovic Giuly.

The other new faces – Milan Bisevac, Momo Sissoko and the goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu (tough on Nicolas Douchez, who drops to the bench within weeks of joining) are all on bigger salaries, worryingly, than the rest of the squad. "We want to do something long term and not buy 10 Messis straight away. That's not how you build a team," Leonardo said. Crucially, PSG have kept the centre-back Mamadou Sakho from the clutches of Arsenal. Sakho, 21, once captained the side at the age of 17 and is club captain this season.

QSI has targeted Champions League qualification for next season – as PSG finished fourth last term, that should be doable – the Ligue 1 title in 2013, and a tilt at winning the Champions League by 2015. What's unlikely is that the coach, Antoine Kombouaré, who has steadied a very rocky ship in recent seasons, will be around to see all that. "Why should I worry about my job?" the coach told Thursday's L'Equipe. "If we win, I stay, and if we lose, I don't. I know how these things work."

"When the Qataris invest, they want to be obeyed," Alain Perrin, Lyon's former double-winning coach now in charge at the Qatari side Al-Khor, has warned. "But I don't see Kombouaré staying very long." Perrin's predecessor at Al-Khor, Bertrand Marchand, agreed: "It's their trademark to appoint a big name. In Qatar, the coach is the star of the team." Carlo Ancelotti has already been linked to the job and Arsène Wenger remains a long-term target.

At least the fixture list has been kind to PSG: only three of their first 12 games are against sides that finished in the top half last season. That's more than can be said for Marseille, last season's runners-up, who play four of the top six in the opening six weeks. No wonder Marseille figures past and present have been queueing up for a pop at PSG. "You can't go out and buy a style of play, a culture and an identity," the former president Bernard Tapie said (and he would know). The Marseille sports director, José Anigo, said: "When you spend almost €100m, you have to win the title." "They should be renamed the Galactiques de Paris," according to the new president, Vincent Labrune.

For once, l'OM should be grateful that they have been able to conduct their summer business in relative serenity. Labrune's appointment has helped the coach, Didier Deschamps, win, temporarily at least, his power battle with Anigo and l'OM have bought the France captain, Alou Diarra (for a bargain €5m from Bordeaux), the talented young defender Nicolas Nkoulou and the Lorient pair of Jérémy Morel and Morgan Amalfitano. Mathieu Valbuena is likely to replace Lucho González as the No10, while Diarra playing just in front of Souleymane Diawara and Stéphane Mbia will give the team a formidable physical presence. Marseille's 5-4 Champions Trophy win over Lille last week showed that the Ayew brothers (André hit a hat-trick, Jordan won two stoppage-time penalties) will be tough to handle this season.

But will Marseille be able to overhaul Lille? Last season's champions sold their spine this summer, with Adil Rami, Yohan Cabaye and Gervinho all moving on, but were quick to replace them. Marko Basa, Benoît Pedretti and Dimitri Payet have come in – at a net profit of €5.5m – while the squad has been boosted for the Champions League with the arrivals of Laurent Bonnart, Vincent Enyeama, Ronny Rodelin and Nicolas Fauvergue. Lille's recruitment is normally spot on – last season's back five cost them nothing to put together – but they were also lucky to avoid any injuries last year: only 14 players made more than five starts all season.

The key to this season rests on the winger and French player of the year Eden Hazard staying fit, and Moussa Sow proving that last season, when he was top scorer with 25 goals, was no one-off – even though it was the first time in seven seasons in France that he hit double figures. "PSG may have the money but as champions we will be the team to beat," the coach, Rudi Garcia, warned.

What of the others? It's an age of austerity at Lyon, whose president, Jean-Michel Aulas, promoted Rémi Garde from youth academy director to first-team coach, and promised "to play the youth card"; in other words, spend no money. As yet, the club's failure to sell Michel Bastos to Juventus (€15m asking-price) and Aly Cissokho to Liverpool (€10m) has prevented any funds coming in. Garde needs Gourcuff to rediscover his form if they are to challenge the top three.

Hot on their heels are Sochaux, looking to improve on a surprising fifth-place finish last season, and Rennes and Toulouse, who have both spent smartly: Chris Mavinga, Benoît Costil and Jonathan Pitroipa should all do well at the former, while big things are expected of Emmanuel Rivière (€6m) at Toulouse.

The new campaign kicks off on Saturday night, when all eyes will be on Parc des Princes to see how PSG get on in their opener against Lorient. A decent home win would be one thing: a glimpse of Sarkozy in the directors' box hugging Sheikh Tamim would be quite another.

Team-by-team guide

Ajaccio It took Ajaccio five years to get out of Ligue 2. To avoid a speedy return, the club has signed the Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa and the strikers Frédéric Sammaritano and Ilan, briefly of West Ham. Target: Survival

Auxerre The club starts a new era without Ireneusz Jelen and Benoît Pedretti, not to mention the coach, Jean Fernandez. With surprise pick Laurent Fournier as the new coach, a season of consolidation is in store. Target: Top half

Bordeaux Last season was disastrous under the unpopular Jean Tigana, who has been replaced by Francis Gillot. Bordeaux sold their captain, Alou Diarra, to Marseille, and Gillot's tough task is to lead the 2009 champions back into Europe. Target: Europa League

Brest The coach, Alex Dupont, nicknamed Sir Alex after Ferguson, won friends after Brest started last season very well. By the end, they only just stayed up, and pre-season has been disrupted by the striker Nolan Roux's public pleas to leave. Target: Survival

Caen The club hit the financial jackpot by selling the highly rated striker Youssef El-Arabi (17 league goals last season) to the Saudi side Al-Hilal for €7.5m and in M'Baye Niang, 16, they have a potential star in the making. He will play up front alongside new signing Pierre-Alain Frau. Target: Survival

Dijon Their first time in Ligue 1, Dijon have Florent Malouda as a shareholder, and his younger brother Lesley, as well as Didier Drogba's brother Freddy, in the squad. New signings Cédric Varrault, Daisuke Matsui and Grégory Thil add L1 experience. Target: Survival

Evian Another Ligue 1 debutant, the Danone-sponsored club wanted to play home matches in nearby Geneva, but the federation forbade it. Sidney Govou, back from Panathinaikos after 11 years at Lyon, is their big summer signing. Target: Survival

Lille Worthy champions last season, Rudi Garcia's attacking side have been overshadowed by Paris St Germain and Marseille's transfer-market moves. Keeping Eden Hazard is a masterstroke, but Lille's final position could depend on their Champions League campaign. Target: Champions

Lorient Canny Christian Gourcuff, the longest-serving coach in L1, has replaced the creative pair of Morgan Amalfitano (Marseille) and Kevin Gameiro (PSG) with Mathieu Coutadeur and Jérémie Aliadière, who is already injured. "It's going to be tough," Gourcuff says. Target: Top 10

Lyon A new strategy is in place for the president, Jean-Michel Aulas, which involves spending hardly any money and hoping the new coach, Rémi Garde, can finish in the top three. It could be a tough ask. Target: Champions League

Marseille With Didier Deschamps still in charge, Marseille are joint favourites for Ligue 1, and if André-Pierre Gignac repeats his second-season tally for Toulouse (he scored 22 league goals in 2008-09), l'OM could go one better than last season's runners-up spot. Target: Champions

Montpellier Already established in L1 despite only arriving two years ago, stability is their great strength. Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa turned down an offer from Lille, while Emir Spahic (now at Sevilla) is the only departure. Target: Europa League

Nancy After five years as Auxerre coach, the last season of which was in the Champions League, Jean Fernandez has replaced Pablo Correa on the bench. But after nine years of Correa in charge, it could be a tough adjustment to Fernandez's softer approach. Target: Top half

Nice Neighbouring Monaco's relegation could bring more fans to Nice, who finished one point above the drop zone last year. The coach, Eric Roy, an ex-Nice player, has a good relationship with the ambitious new president, Jean-Pierre Rivère, and the club is now looking up. Target: Mid-table

PSG The big story of the summer, in Europe as well as France. Eight new players, Leonardo as sports director, and oil-rich owners: what could possibly go wrong? A poor start could spell the end for coach Kombouaré. Target: Champions

Rennes Stability is the watchword at Rennes and keeping Yann M'Vila for another season was a coup. Look out for the latest academy talent, Yacine Brahimi, while new signing Jonathan Pitroipa has impressed in pre-season. Target: Top six

St Ettiene Last season's 10th-place finish was a big improvement on recent relegation battles, but Dimitri Payet and Emmanuel Rivière, responsible for 65% of Etienne's goals last season, have been sold and Steed Malbranque and Florent Sinama-Pongolle have come in. Target: Top 10

Sochaux The new coach, Mecha Bazdarevic, wants to build on last season's surprise fifth-place finish, but their best chance is if they hold on to Marvin Martin, Europe's leading assist-maker last season with 17. He's a wanted man but has yet to commit for this campaign. Target: Top four

Toulouse Goals have been a problem since first Johan Elmander and then André-Pierre Gignac were sold, but TFC have tried to address that by spending €10m on Emmanuel Rivière and Umut Bulut. Target: Top six

Valenciennes Another coaching change, with Daniel Sanchez replacing the Sociedad-bound Philippe Montanier, but the big boost for VA, who begin life in their new stadium this season, was the top scorer, Grégory Pujol, signing a new deal. They also want Slobodan Rajkovic (Chelsea) and Ryo Miyaichi (Arsenal) on loan. Target: Top 10

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/blog/2011/aug/04/ligue-1-2011-12-season-preview?commentpage=all#start-of-comments

Black Magic

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Re: Ligue 1 - Saison 2011/12

Post by Black Magic on Sat Aug 06, 2011 9:02 pm

Cheers for that Cesc.

PSG-Lorient has been free flowing in the first half. PSG have squandered a lot of opportunities, but Lorient have passed the ball around impressively and have gotten the ball in dangerous positions enough to merit the halftime lead. Nene has been very out of touch, Menez with some nice flicks, though ultimately ineffective.
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fcb

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Re: Ligue 1 - Saison 2011/12

Post by fcb on Sat Aug 06, 2011 10:13 pm

PSG losee 0-1 at home Laughing

Marseille draw 2-2, Lille draw 1-1, and Lyon win 1-3 away.

stinger

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Re: Ligue 1 - Saison 2011/12

Post by stinger on Sat Aug 06, 2011 10:42 pm

Black Magic wrote:Cheers for that Cesc.
<Ale> Nice to see Guardian publishing a preview for Ligue 1 season, as I don't recall reading an articles there about French League. Hopefully it will be done weekly and this guy won't be too far off Sid Lowe and this Germany guy with very difficult name (Italian guy isn't as good as them).
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Cesc Soler

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Re: Ligue 1 - Saison 2011/12

Post by Cesc Soler on Sat Aug 06, 2011 11:11 pm



<Ale> <Ale> <Ale>

The best people to follow on twitter who tweet about Ligue 1 are: @tomwfootball, @james_eastham, @FrenchFtWeekly, @mattspiro & @benlyt
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Cesc Soler

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Re: Ligue 1 - Saison 2011/12

Post by Cesc Soler on Tue Aug 09, 2011 11:44 pm

The Guardian's Ben Lyttleton reviews the first matchweek of the season;

PSG's Galactiques suffer 'cold shower' as Lorient rain on their parade

After spending €83m in the summer Paris St-Germain were favourites for Ligue 1. But someone forgot to tell Lorient


In the end, the surprise was not that Paris St-Germain lost the opening match of their brave new world but that Lorient, visitors in front of a near-capacity 42,000 at a pouring Parc des Princes, only won 1-0. Before Julien Quercia scored their winning goal, Mamadou Sakho was lucky not to have conceded a penalty for handball, while Kévin Monnet-Pacquet missed an open goal from three metres and Arnold Mvuemba rattled the crossbar.

"A Cold Shower for the PSG Galactiques", ran Journal du Dimanche's headline, while L'Equipe went for irony: "That's a good start…" It actually had started OK, before the game began that is, with €43m signing Javier Pastore given a huge ovation on the pitch. "At least his hair looked nice," wrote So Foot, looking for positives. There weren't many others.

Nerves clearly got the better of Sakho, the skipper, and he looked a shadow of the imposing figure he cut last season. "He played in the first half like I've never seen him play," said coach Antoine Kombouaré after the game. "Lots of them had their heads in their shoes. But you need time to build relationships, so we must not panic." Sakho's fellow centre-back, Milan Bisevac, according to one French reporter, "needs a three-metre run-up to make a tackle". Guillaume Hoarau "has reason to fear for his place", (L'Equipe) while Jérémy Ménez "is not the solution" (20 Minutes).

It's no major surprise that a team with five debutants – Salvatore Sirigu, Blaise Matuidi, and Kévin Gameiro, as well as Bisevac and Menez – four of whom missed pre-season training with their new club, struggled for cohesion. Of more concern, perhaps, was the lack of leadership, especially in midfield. The team's average age was 25 and the absence of an on-pitch leader was apparent: last season's veteran trio Grégory Coupet, Claude Makélélé and Ludovic Giuly, all vocal, all leaders, were missed. Perhaps Lassana Diarra, watching from the stands and out of favour at Real Madrid, should have brought his boots.

PSG's sports director Leonardo – who said last week: "Don't expect things to start with a great party, that doesn't exist in football," – left his directors' box seat just before the end, and with a tight smile, headed straight for the dressing-room. "What was said will remain between us," added a grim-faced Kombouaré.

The fans, whose banner, 'Dream Bigger', could be up for while, jeered Ménez when he was subbed off, and booed the team at the final whistle. "It was inevitable really," added So Foot. "The Qataris were so focused on signing 'a crack' that they forgot to buy proper defenders."

Next week, PSG face a tricky trip to early-season leaders Rennes. Mathieu Bodmer, playing as a No10, is likely to replace Hoarau, though Pastore, whose first PSG press conference will be this afternoon, won't appear until September. He needs to start well: if not, said today's Le Parisien: "The disappointment would be immense and Leonardo's recruitment will be called into question."

For all the focus on PSG, credit has to go to Lorient, and in particular coach Christian Gourcuff. The longest-serving boss in Ligue 1, Gourcuff's obsession with playing football "the right way" means he's happier to lose beautifully than to win ugly. He was nominated for Coach of the Year last season (Lille's Rudi Garcia won) and every summer it's a surprise that no bigger club tries to hire him.

This off-season he lost his three best players, Gameiro and Marseille-bound Morgan Amalfitano and Jérémy Morel, but efficiently recruited replacements: Mathieu Coutadeur and Lucas Mareque for the latter two, and for Gameiro, two strikers on a free: Quercia, dumped by Auxerre but Man of the Match in Paris, and Jérémie Aliadière, who impressed in a 20-minute cameo on Saturday night. "He'll be interesting for us, he's intelligent and I like that," said Gourcuff. His next job is keeping his players: Bruno Ecuele Manga, the centre-back bought last year to replace Laurent Koscielny, is already a target for Premier League clubs.

Lorient's net profit for the summer was €8m, so it's no wonder Gourcuff was smiling after beating PSG, who have splashed out €83m. "It shows that money and buying names is not the only way to win. There are other values in football; like playing well, for example," he said. "At Lorient, the team is the star unlike at PSG," added his president Loic Fery.

Lorient has the potential to finish in the top 10 this season. As for PSG, they will have to recover quickly from the first Qatar-strophe of their new era.

Week one talking points

  • Lucho González has made no secret of his desire to leave Marseille, but with every recent performance his price-tag must be rising. Back in March, Lucho was the seventh Marseille player to be a victim of home-jacking (Vitorino Hilton recently became the eighth, and he quickly left for Montpellier) and his family want to leave the city. In Saturday's exciting 2-2 draw with Sochaux, Lucho scored with an excellent volley, and he almost won the game late on. The previous week, he excelled in OM's 5-4 Champions Trophy win over Lille. Marseille already have Amalfitano and Mathieu Valbuena to cover for him, and Lucho's departure would free up the salary-bill to bring in a centre-forward on loan (Alberto Gilardino has been linked). "As long as he is here, I will use him, the guy loves football," said coach Didier Deschamps. Malaga's €6m bid was rejected last month while negotiations with Roma stalled when Marseille wanted €12m. On current form, it would seem a fair price.

  • Last season, this is just the type of game that Lyon would have lost. A goal down at Nice, for whom ex-Lyon winger Anthony Mounier scored the season's quickest goal, Lyon levelled after some sharp work by Lisandro López, and the visitors soon gained in confidence. Goals from Bafe Gomis and Maxime Gonalons sealed the 3-1 win. It was obvious straightaway that the new coach, Remi Garde, has got the players on his side – which is more than Claude Puel managed in three years. "What's changed here is that the smile is back on everyone's faces," said the president, Jean-Michel Aulas, pointedly. There is more to come from Lyon, too: they were missing three creative midfielders, Yoann Gourcuff, Miralem Pjanic and Ederson. A tough Champions League qualifier against Rubin Kazan awaits, but the mood is upbeat.

  • What an opening weekend! There were 31 goals and some were absolute crackers, among them Grégory Proment's long-range blockbuster which won the match for Caen. Alain Traoré scored an equaliser for Auxerre in their defeat at Montpellier from even further out (goal after 1min10secs), while Oliver Sorlin put new boys Evian ahead with a brilliant edge-of-the-area volley in their 2-2 draw at Brest. Last season there was some talk that shots from outside the area were a rarity in this division. The players have obviously been practising over the summer.


Week One Results: Marseille 2-2 Sochaux, PSG 0-1 Lorient, Ajaccio 0-2 Toulouse, Nice 1-3 Lyon, Nancy 1-1 Lille, Caen 1-0 Valenciennes, Montepellier 3-1 Auxerre, Brest 2-2 Evian TG, Dijon 1-5 Rennes (the early leaders were helped by Dijon having two early goals disallowed), Bordeaux 1-2 Saint-Etienne.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/blog/2011/aug/08/ligue-1-psg-lose-lorient

Black Magic

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Re: Ligue 1 - Saison 2011/12

Post by Black Magic on Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:48 am

Looks like it'll be a weekly round up Cesc. ok

I was very impressed with the way Lorient played. I'll be following their results this season I think.

I'm a big fan of Lucho, would love him at Roma.
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Super Progress

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Re: Ligue 1 - Saison 2011/12

Post by Super Progress on Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:25 pm

Black Magic wrote:Looks like it'll be a weekly round up Cesc. ok

I was very impressed with the way Lorient played. I'll be following their results this season I think.

I'm a big fan of Lucho, would love him at Roma.
It could be a strong midfield with Lucho-Pizzaro-De Rossi. drunken

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Re: Ligue 1 - Saison 2011/12

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