Both Nicholas Gioacchini and Konrad de la Fuente started for their respective teams with one tasting victory and the other suffering the agony of defeat in Ligue 1 action.

Montpellier 0 – 1 Lyon

Nicholas Gioacchini got a rare start for La Paillade when they hosted Olympique Lyon on Sunday afternoon at the Stade de la Mosson.  it was a pretty evenly contested game with the visitors slightly edging possession although Montpellier had more shots both on target and also missing the goal completely.   The only goal that separated the teams was Lucas Paquetá’s early strike.

For Gioacchini, it was his second start and his first home start.  The American looked out of place out there, which was obviously why Coach Olivier Dall’Oglio pulled him off the field after just 56 minutes.

It took all of 17 minutes for the visitors to take the lead and keep it for the duration.  As Lyon attacked, a cross from the right wing by Malo Gusto was delivered perfectly but the shot was slammed into the crossbar.  Paquetá was alert however and buried it into the back of the net from close range.

Montpellier will hit the road midweek to take on Metz in Ligue 1 action on Wednesday night. 

Marseille 1 – 0 Troyes

Konrad de la Fuente started on the left wing for Olympique in a tough fought contest that was eventually won a second half goal from Pol Lirola to extend the team to a six game unbeaten streak in league action.  The American however was subbed out in the 69th minute.

Eric Palmer-Brown didn’t make the bench for ESTAC, who dropped their third game in a row where they gave up 6 goals but scored nothing in return. 

Dmitri was back in the line-up after missing out against Galatasaray in midweek.  The Frenchman was the driving force behind whatever OM created and had a tri of chances in the first half where he could have converted.

The goal came in the 74th minute and again it was Payet who was the creator when, on the counter, he sent a long ball forward to his Spanish colleague and watched the Lirola control the ball, beat the last defender and coolly slotted the ball into the back of the net. 

The win puts OM into fourth place, even on points with third place Nice and two behind second place Stade Rennes.  The league leaders are PSG, who have a 12 point cushion and can probably be handed the title before Christmas.  Troyes, on the other hand are only out of the relegation zone due to a superior goal difference over Clemont.

Next up for de la Fuente’s side is a midweek trip to Nantes, while Palmer-Brown and Troyes host Lorient, also on Wednesday evening.

Notes

Tim Weah came off the bench for the defending French champions Saturday when Lille hosted Nantes.  The American got onto the field in the 76th minute as Lille shared the points for the third game in a row in Ligue 1 action.  Canadian hitman Jonathan David had a chance to win it in the 79th minute after Weah’s cross into the box for ended up with Brazilian defender Fábio committing a foul and seeing red.  This turned out to be third time unlucky for David, having scored his first two chances from the spot.  The poor penalty resulted in a decent save.

Lille will hope to end the next game with three points in the bag when they travel to Rennes midweek.

By Michael Adubato

The old man of Yanks-Abroad, having been around since the very beginning in 2004, Known as the resident Belgian expert since that’s where he has lived for a couple of decades. Over the years he has interviewed Nats such as Kasey Keller, Brian McBride, Oguchi Onyewu, Jozy Altidore and Tim Weah, to name a few. When not working the day job, he can often be found in stadiums around Europe, watching games from the top flight to the lower leagues. To prove that he is not just a pretty face, Mike received a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Maryland and a Masters from the University of Oklahoma. Boomer Sooner! On a non-soccer note, Adubato has just released a book of poetry from his travels, Missing the Exit, published by Broken Keys Publishing in Ottawa, Canada. So that must make him the YA poet laureate! You can grab your copy on Amazon.com, order online and pick it up and Barnes & Noble or get an e-copy at various outlets.

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